“I believe that the only way to give meaning to our lives is by giving meaning to other’s lives, to support and protect them, to help protect them against the force of government, and by making a move, any move, which ends up making a difference in another person’s life, is the only way to give meaning to our lives.
“That to gain self-respect for ourselves, we have to first like ourselves, and the best way to like yourself is to prove that your life makes a difference to someone else’s life, this gives meaning to your life.
It isn’t what we do for ourselves that changes our well-being, it is what we do for others, which gives meaning to our lives.
Some people say, “I never do anything wrong. I obey the law. I mind my own business. This is selfish: thinking only about yourself, protecting only yourself, living in a bubble.
This does not give MEANING to your life.
If you are a recluse and spend the day praying, where does society benefit from you, and if no one benefits from your existence, your life has NO MEANING TO SOCIETY.
If we think only of ourselves, we would not want to make someone else happy, we would not fall in love, we would not marry, we would not have children, as this all requires giving of ourselves to others.
“THIS IS LIVING: bringing love and hope in others.
Therefore, stop thinking of yourselves, think of what you can do for society, to people, to give meaning to your lives, this is what brings happiness.
Which in return gives meaning to our lives.
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Today’s posting is an excerpt from the Existential Catechism found on the Web Site
Today’s READERS’ COMMENT is from Jo Amatucci, featured as the lead thought.
BOOK SUMMARY: Of “The Goldfinch”
LEFT OFF: Andy and Theo talk.
CHAPTER 4, SECTION 4: Theo’s appetite returns.
Note that the entire summary from the start of the novel to date can be found on the Web Site: Pages; Goldfinch, The – Summary.
The latest Web Site Tweak has me playing around with inserting a photo in the Daily Post.
The jury’s out.
Today is Saturday, July 21, 2018
Good morning, my friends.
This is my 104th consecutive daily posting.
It’s 6.09am at the start of a cool day, with a promise of rainy weather coming tomorrow and beyond.
I’m at my desk.
Dinner is leftover pork roast.
WIKIPEDIA’S SUMMARY OF WHAT’S PLAYING:
“The Searchers” is a 1956 American Technicolor VistaVision Western film directed by John Ford, based on the 1954 novel by Alan Le May, set during the Texas–Indian Wars, and starring John Wayne as a middle-aged Civil War veteran who spends years looking for his abducted niece (Natalie Wood), accompanied by his adoptive nephew (Jeffrey Hunter). Critic Roger Ebert found Wayne's character, Ethan Edwards, "one of the most compelling characters Ford and Wayne ever created".
The film was a commercial success.
Since its release it has come to be considered a masterpiece and one of the greatest and most influential films ever made. It was named the greatest American western by the American Film Institute in 2008, and it placed 12th on the same organization's 2007 list of the 100 greatest American movies of all time. Entertainment Weekly also named it the best western.
The British Film Institute's Sight & Sound magazine ranked it as the seventh best film of all time based on a 2012 international survey of film critics and in 2008, the French magazine Cahiers du Cinéma ranked The Searchers number 10 in their list of the 100 best films ever made.
In 1989, The Searchers was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress, and selected for preservation in its National Film Registry; it was in the first cohort of films selected for the registry.
The Searchers was the first major film to have a purpose-filmed making-of, requested by John Ford. It deals with most aspects of making the movie, including preparation of the site, construction of props, and filming techniques.
Searching for the meaning of life is a red herring.
Because searching outside ourselves is not the way to find it.
In fact, it is a complete waste of time.
Especially with the answer hiding in plain sight.
Masquerading as our behavior.
Our behavior is the wellspring from which meaning flows into our lives; the fountainhead of spirituality.
I see a woman with a stroller readying to navigate a down staircase.
I step over and lift the stroller’s front wheels.
Careful with the stroller, the caregiver and I descend the staircase.
That seemingly throwaway reaction actually runs quite deep.
I mustn’t slough it off as evanescent random kindness.
That spontaneous response spiritually enriched my life.
Our actions are amalgams of our psychological profile and our values and beliefs.
We define values as what we hold desirable or correct.
We define beliefs as what we hold as true.
Our psychological profile influences how we see reality: what we see is NEVER all there is.
Our observations are distorted by personal issues like narcissism, myopia, prejudice and acceptance, anxiety and exhilaration, physical condition, love and hate, and the environment; and by our intelligence, creativity, imagination, desire to give back, cultural awareness, analytic capabilities.
A base need for food and shelter influences our psychological profile; as do a sociological need to belong and an elevated drive for beauty and ecstasy.
Our responses to events are based on how we see them, not as they actually occur.
Throughout our lives we codify an ever-evolving personal set of values and beliefs.
We use this code as our benchmark against which to compare the rightness or wrongness of our responses to people or situations.
Some of our code’s sources date back three billion years.
Examples are genetics – biological and psychological; natural instincts, like self-preservation and propagation of the species.
And the Natural Law that reason discloses to us as underlying all human behavior.
We absorb things our parents teach us.
We add in things we learn from close friends, television, and the social media.
We merge the entire belief systems and values of outside organizations, like schools, the military, and organized religions.
Sometimes we’re victims of the brainwashing of college professors preying on young and eager minds; or governments, spinning the truth to suit; or mentors, extracting adulation for smoothing the path to advancement in the material world. We subconsciously, perhaps, add even these alien sources to our code.
Some of our code sources derive from our own past responses to moment-to-moment situations, like helping someone with a stroller descend a staircase.
Our feelings, as we walk away from such moments or think about them later, get absorbed into our code and, in turn, influence responses that follow.
Judging our behavior against what we expect of ourselves requires reflection.
Reflecting on whether our actions conform to what we deem desirable and correct produces an existential mindset, an assertion of our commitment to live spiritually-directed lives.
And spiritually-directed living makes us impervious to the unimportant.
So reflection dooms our dinner party to success even if the roast turkey turns out a tad dry, or the conversation less than amiable.
Reflection impacts our superordinate decisions.
Never do we need reflection more than when we ponder sublime changes in our lives.
Getting married, choosing a college, choosing that first job, uprooting ourselves from an eastern city to go West and claim that government promised "Forty acres and a mule" number among such decisions.
So important these, besides reflection, we study the subject, seek professional counseling, share the experiences of peers, and get input from close family and friends.
Reflection impacts corollaries, the consequent requirements of superordinate decisions.
Every superordinate decision comes with a host of related obligations that we accept as part of the package.
So pioneers deciding to go west to root a family in the great unknown accepted farming and cooking as corollary to their chosen way of life.
Students enrolling in college accept that they will be studying texts, writing papers, producing films.
But the devil is in the details.
Details are the individual, indivisible, line-item components of the corollaries.
And it's here we clearly see the importance of reflection on our daily lives because existential mindset includes dedication to craft.
Learning the job well,
Taking the time to do each assignment properly.
using the right tools if only for the aesthetics of it.
Taking pleasure from the doing.
The more dedicated we are to the work we do the richer our spiritual fulfillment.
“Read 50 pages of Anna Karenina for tomorrow’s class,” the teacher says. The students’ details.
“May I have a very hot cup of coffee?” the customer asks. The wait-staff's details.
The cook's details: “I’ll make my own stock for the recipe.”
The Shakers' dedication to doing everything exquisitely without regard to time serves as a brilliant example of bringing meaning to our lives.
Francis of Assisi said this:
He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”
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