Category Archives: Wisdom

Selfishness versus Self-Preservation

On our ultimate journey toward Heaven on Earth we must learn to shun selfishness.  But the reality is—like most things in life—the difference between selfishness and self-preservation is a matter of degree, rather than some absolute.

We are each made of mind, body and a “little piece of God” (what others might call a soul).  Taking care of ourselves is a solemn duty and responsibility—in all three of these areas.  At the same time, we must be aware of others and avoid selfishness, which harms others.  It sounds simple and the goal is quite comprehensible.

The practice of caring for oneself, and at the same time avoiding selfishness, is not easy.  But, it is critical in our quest for Heaven on Earth.  My advice is to think about what you really need for self-preservation.  Contemplate this concept.  Pray on it.  Like all the other values—whether positive or negative—it is critical to be honest with oneself and to be aware of the balance between selfishness and legitimate self-care.

Prosperity versus Greed

What is prosperity and why can it be good?  I believe global prosperity is where all have the basics of life, including food, shelter, education, and healthcare.  We may not—and probably won’t—have everything we want, as that is limitless and basically unattainable.  This ideal state—Heaven on Earth element—is filled with gratitude for our means, rather than envy for those who have more, or condescension toward those who have less.

There has never been a time in human history where all had the same means.  The 20th century is full of the tragedies of genocide in the Soviet Union (20 million people) and China (a staggering 70 million people) where the Communist experiment with equal outcomes played out.  The charade of Communism is still in Cuba and North Korea to the extreme detriment of their people.

Greed and envy—negative values—are closely related.  Both are very detrimental to a satisfying life.  While it is important to have the ambition and desire to care for oneself and family, the lust for more, more, more beyond one’s reasonable aspirations can become greed.  Timing can matter; for instance, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett certainly avidly pursued great wealth, but eventually became philanthropic with their vast means.

It’s not just timing within one generation.  Passing wealth from one generation to another can result in dramatic advances, such as those by Darwin and Newton.  Personally, I have felt a great responsibility to use my inherited wealth to benefit others as well as my family and myself.

Financial literacy is critical for all.  But when wealth is passed from generation to generation, it requires a preparation for the handling of such assets, not just for the generation receiving the wealth, but also for their frame of mind to use the wealth and, in the end, benefit others.

The Importance of Showing Our Country’s Youth the Republican Way

The elections both this year and in 2016 are critical to our nation, its people, and the world.  Here in Louisiana, I will do my part to help elect a fine Congressman to the Senate, Bill Cassidy, M. D.  This can very well give Republicans a majority in the Senate and help lower the downside risks of the remaining time of President Obama.  That’s very important to Louisiana and our nation as well as globally.

Why?  There are only two things that have propelled our economy (jobs for our young people and everyone else who has been successful in job searches), and they are:

·        Oil and gas advances creating a lot of well-paying jobs and all the jobs that surround those jobs.

·        Thirty Republican governors who have promoted their state economies with sound fiscal policies and job-creating education enhancement at all levels.

I have read and reviewed Scott Walker’s book, Unintimidated, several times.  It has conveyed the message time and time again that sound fiscal policies can mean lower taxes, efficient, yet not austerity-type of government, improved education with flexibility in rewarding good teachers, hiring well and dismissing “lemons” that destroy our youth, and holding teacher meetings without union approval and on and on.  Flexibility is all-important both in managing a business and a government, national, state or local.  Scott Walker understands the importance of this flexibility at the state and local level because he had tremendous problems without it at the Milwaukee County level.

The future is all we have ahead of us.  Young people have a lot of future ahead of them.  They will choose the failed policies of the Democratic party, with ruinous policies evident in cities such as Detroit, and states such as Illinois, or they will choose to elect Republicans at all levels, the leaders of which have shined in the red states with lower taxes, education efforts which are determined and forthright and, in so many ways, success in employing young and old despite national “leadership” that has been at the least, “challenging.”  My hope and prayer is that the nation’s youth will follow the pathway of wisdom in voting for Republicans at every level.

Life is full of surprises, and they’re not all good.  But wisdom is all about navigating the bumps in the road of life, and coming out on the other side with a degree of wisdom and truth.

A prosperous economy can open the possibilities to an abundance of things.  A strong leader such as Scott Walker can also open doors toward Heaven on Earth, a destiny we all seek, and yet  reach only with great sustained effort and God’s enduring, steadfast love.

As a voter in the United States, each citizen has a part to play in this ultimate drama.  I firmly believe that the Republicans have a better plan—perhaps not a perfect plan, because we are all human—but a better plan than the Detroit or Illinois or Obama plan.

Motivation!

The future is all we have ahead of us.  We must take care that our young people receive balanced and factual educations.  Let me give you an example of the some of the text that I read in my American Government class textbook.  It calls – in equal fashion – for equal opportunities and equal outcomes.  The “Sage of Singapore” has stated that nowhere in history has there been a society of equal outcomes.  Quite simply, we have everything from unequal talents to unequal work habits and a host of other factors that lead to “unequal outcomes.”

That does not mean to say that we shouldn’t have “safety nets.”  But we must guard against that illusion that economic equality should and can be our goal.  And why shouldn’t hard work be compensated?

We Americans must guard our future, not only for ourselves, but to help engender that ultimate destiny of Heaven on Earth.  We can and we must.

We Americans each have a role in this journey through The Innovation Age toward The Spiritual Age or Heaven on Earth.  Values will be the key, not only for Americans, but all world citizens.  The importance of motivation! motivation! motivation! cannot be overemphasized.  But we must be motivated toward worthy, lasting, and high goals.  We can and we must.

Our goal must not be small.  Why?  Because it makes us small.  We each have a critical part in this world stage of clarity and vision.  It takes a certain trust in Almighty God and our own mind, body and “little piece of God” to rally toward love, love to within, receiving the love of others, love to and from God.

We are not alone.

The wonder and awe of God’s love is a force we must seek in ourselves and with others.  The majesty of the universe disperses God’s presence in a way that is simply beyond our scope of imagination.

Albert Einstein proclaimed that “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”  I agree.

Wise Innovation–a key to the path toward Heaven on Earth

We are in The Innovation Age as clearly seen in technology.  As humans, we must change, too, in all our entities, groups, governments, and religions.  At the same time we must seek the wisdom-associated values and go about ridding ourselves of the negative values (See Copthorne MacDonald’s essay, “The Centrality of Wisdom,” in How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth.

The reality is that life itself is a process of change with many “bumps” in the road.  I had so many severe bumps from 1963 onward.  But, despite the pain along the way, there’s no question that I am much wiser than if my life had been success after success.  That certainly doesn’t mean that I want to go down in defeat.  Quite the opposite, I have important words to impart.  I deeply want to be a recognized and serious pathfinder toward Heaven on Earth.

A world full of robust, stable, prosperous democracies will be a peaceful world, and I fully intend to do what I can to promote that result.  A free, prosperous world will go about solving so many goals: ecological, harmony, health, spiritual harmony, racial harmony, and moral purpose and meaning.  It’s not a matter of possibility.  It’s definitely a matter of will—individually, and nation by nation.

Dedication of everyone from spiritual leaders to public servants to everyone else is essential to this awesome and wonderful undertaking of the ages, the dream of a heaven on earth, which I definitely believe was predestined by Almighty God from our creation.

Non-violence is part of the puzzle, even the abolishment of capital punishment.  Restorative justice, particularly for non-violent criminals, is so much better than revenge.  Non-violence is also crucial in the replacement of authoritative governments with democracies.  Revenge shouldn’t be foremost.  Freedom and democracy are too necessary that backward looking shouldn’t overshadow the opportunity of liberty and freedom.

When I write about prosperity, I am not glorifying materialism or consumerism.  It is just that financial literacy should be taught at all levels of education and serve to stabilize economies worldwide.  That, in turn, helps employment or self-employment or business formation or business growth, a very healthy situation, especially if we are altruistic.

 

An Optimist’s View of the Role of Humanity

The role of each of us and all of us is to take an honest, deep, continuing look within and without to all, for the betterment of ourselves, others, and the world.  This individual feat is not a one-time event.  It is part of our life journey, hopefully and prayerfully, eventually resulting in personal wisdom, a wonderful example and influence from others and steps toward Heaven on Earth.

Our planet is inhabited by humans, and what they do, one by one, million by million, billion by billion, has an enormous effect on our present and future.

In the 21st century knowledge, jobs, and people will be critical.  Unskilled jobs, worldwide, will be harder and harder to measure up to these knowledge and people-skill jobs; the good news is that I believe entrepreneurship, knowledge, and people-skill jobs can flourish and become more and more purposeful, meaningful, and appreciated.

Life is like a road, full of potholes, twists, curves, and upward and downward challenges.  There is a mystery about it beyond human understanding.  It is a matter of faith in our God-created mind, body and “little piece of God” and Almighty God.  But the fact that life is a mystery and difficult at times doesn’t mean we should “give up” seeking our calling(s) by God.  Throughout our lives our calling(s) will change, but love is the focus for it all.  Why?  Because God is Love.

We must not blame life or become victims.  We must rise up and try, try, and try to maximize our potential—for ourselves, others and God.

The reality is not that life is easy or even should be easy.  The goal of all of us is to maximize our potential, and the core of that struggle is love and faith—faith in God, ourselves and others.  Never give up to suicide, crime, or any other unworthy activity.  Of course, we are all human and imperfect in ourselves.  But we should try, try, and try to reach toward love, and eventually Heaven on Earth.

How do we do this?  Our spiritual leaders—globally for loving religions—are an important key.  These religions must emphasize that what we say and do is of primary importance, followed by our values, and then our beliefs.  I believe that too often religions tend to overemphasize beliefs to the detriment of values, but most importantly, also to the detriment of teaching the importance of what we say and do.

Each of us and all of us has a magnificent role to play in this global drama.  We all have our strengths and weaknesses, but a world full of stable, robust, and prosperous nations would be a world of permanent peace, but that’s not all.  Prosperity breeds prosperity, especially with the wonderful very real and positive force of globalization.  I am speaking of free, fair trade which will allow miracles to happen, especially in the poorer, developing nations of our world.  But it will benefit us all as we reach toward Heaven on Earth.

None of us is perfect.  But truth and wisdom are goals that we should seek, day by day, month by month, year by year.

I am an optimist at heart.

 

From Hurting…To Helping

We must transform the world from people hurting people to people helping people, whether one is speaking of nations, corporations, other human entities or individuals.  There is an innate sense within us that seeks to help.  Let’s see that part of us reign—one by one, million by million, billion by billion.

There is no question that each of us and all of us have an enormous role to play in that inevitable march toward Heaven on Earth, which will include peace and security, freedom, democracies, prosperity, gender harmony, racial harmony, spiritual harmony, ecological harmony and health as well as moral purpose and meaning.

The road ahead probably won’t be easy.  But it will be enormously rewarding to everyone on our planet.

God is with us.  Who can really believe that we can’t succeed?  The world is getting smaller and smaller as globalization and technology march forward.  Let us adopt the wisdom-associated values of Copthorne MacDonald and shun the negative values he identified.

First, we must strive to say and do the right thing.  My belief is that God cares about this most.  We should live “The Golden Rule.”  Second, we must cultivate the values referred to above.  Third, beliefs that support these values and behavior must be respected and adopted one by one as each person’s whole being sees fit.

After a long spiritual journey, I now describe myself as spiritual, but not religious.  At the same time, I find so much truth, wisdom and values within the loving great religions of the world.  There is no question in my mind that the spiritual leaders of the great loving religions are all-important in our march toward Heaven on Earth.

Cultivating Good Behavior, Values, and Beliefs

I find myself thinking really big.  We are in The Innovation Age and we must innovate in all human activities, including government, education, religions, business, and science.  At the same time we must allow our spiritual leaders and others to help everyone, first, to improve our behavior (what we say and do), second, to work toward establishing the wisdom-associated values while shunning negative values, and third, to have a foundation of beliefs that supports good behavior and positive values.

What we say and do is all-important, and with which I believe God is most concerned.  Professing good values and beliefs is meaningless unless it is reflected in our behavior.

It takes time, effort, life experiences and help from many people—spiritual leaders come to mind immediately—to develop wisdom.  Genuine wisdom also eventually develops self-discipline and practices delayed gratification.  Resilience is also a quality that accompanies wisdom.

Faith in God is important to all.  I think that those who do not grow up with a careful cultivation of values, beliefs, discipline and delayed gratification have a much harder time reaching a wise level.  Kindness to ourselves and others is a key to wisdom.  The principle of earning one’s way in the world is also important.

We all have an important role in the march of destiny toward heaven on earth.  Yes, each person’s importance just can’t be over-emphasized.  Each of us and all of us has a “little piece of God.”  So, it is not me or you or anyone else who is critical in the march toward Heaven on Earth.  It’s all of us.  Yes, all 7 billion of us.

The world needs love, compassion, kindness, behavior, values and a foundation built by spiritual leaders who espouse the above.

Thoughts on Freedom and Every Day Life

Life can and is a struggle, but overcoming adversity – especially over time – can lead us to rewards that just wouldn’t be there if we didn’t earn them.

A world full of stable, robust, prosperous democracies will be a world of permanent peace.  Globalization can help us in many ways, most readily in prosperity.  Free, fair trade is also very important.  Free enterprise is an additional worthwhile and vital component.

Literacy, financial literacy, reading, formal education, and learning by doing are all necessary to grow in this century forward.

Knowledge skills and people skills will be crucial to maneuver the modern age.

We must develop self-discipline and practice delayed gratification in order to cultivate our mind, body and “little piece of God.”

Wisdom can and should be taught – at all ages.  We must look deep inside for the goodness that is surely there.

There are the negative values that Copthorne MacDonald enumerated – selfishness, greed, envy, hate and revenge.  These values must be shunned.

Of course, there is a matter of degree in these values.  Take greed.  I believe it is entirely proper to pursue wealth; look at Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.  They, at least eventually, stood back and used their wealth for worthy purposes.

Another aspect of greed that is critical is whether a person is consumed with greed so that he or she does illegal, unethical or immoral acts to pursue that value.  I look at Putin in Russia.  His is partially motivated by greed, and even more by power.  Power corrupts.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Putin’s corruption is out of hand.  But I will give Putin credit as an unlikely hero in keeping a foolish President Obama from getting us into a war in Syria.

I read a wonderful book, The Case for Democracy.  It was written by a Russian Jew who immigrated to Israel and at one time was a Cabinet member.  The crux of the book is that all humans desire liberty and freedom – regardless of the history of their nation – China, Russia, the Middle East – you name it.  The author defined democracy as being completely free to go into the town square and proclaiming whatever you will without reprisals to you or your family.  They don’t have that freedom in Russia, or in a lot of other places.  I pray that everyone on earth will one day experience true freedom, and I believe that day will come.

Teaching Wisdom

It’s important for the future of our nation and the world that we educate our young in a neutral way so that as they mature they can become wise, capable and honest voters; and, in the process, elect leaders with those essential qualities.  Values are so necessary in the cultivation of the mind, body and “little piece of God” of our young people.  It’s not just a matter of “getting an education.”  It is crucial to learn and apply the wisdom-associated values: empathy, truth, honesty, justice, cooperation, peace, compassion, universal well-being, creativity and general knowledge.  This must be accompanied by the quest to rid ourselves and our youth, of selfishness, hate, revenge, envy, and greed.  Wisdom can be taught and our spiritual leaders are all-important in this crucial task – globally.  Kindness begets kindness – human to human, universally.