#1182 Changing Times

Call for Unchanging Principles

In our last +1, we talked about Jesus, Tolle and You and your House on the Rock.

I mentioned the fact that Tom Morris leaned on Jesus’ wisdom in his great book on how to deal with life’s inevitable lemons appropriately called Plato’s Lemonade Stand.

He references Jesus in the context of a chapter in which he discusses Plato’s commitment to certain ideals. For Plato, these included the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.

Here’s how Tom puts it: “A champion wrestler as well as a great thinker, Plato took his stand on unchanging values as the ultimate leverage we have for grappling with this unpredictable world. He was convinced that we can attain true success in life only if we first understand the things that never change and use them well as our reference points for moving forward productively through life’s uncertainties.”

He continues by saying: “Centuries later, Jesus of Nazareth talked about building the structure of your life on a solid foundation of unyielding rock rather than on shifting sands that can provide no sure support.”

Then he adds: “Many more centuries farther on in time, the great Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, often known as the father of existentialism, said something parallel in his influential collection of essays known as the Edifying Discourses:

When the sailor is out on the sea and everything is changing around him, as the waves are continually being born and dying, he does not stare into the depths of these, since they vary. He looks up at the stars. And why? Because they are faithful–as they stand now, they stood for the patriarchs, and will stand for coming generations. By what means then does he conquer changing conditions? Through the eternal: By means of the eternal, one can conquer the future, because the eternal is the foundation of the future.

Finally, Tom tells us: “Our highest ideals and deepest values that connect with the eternal can shed light on the often murky and confusing situations we face at work and in our personal lives. A former U.S. President, Jimmy Carter, once showed himself to be, at least in this regard, a true Platonist and Kierkegaardian. In his inaugural address to the nation, he quoted one of his high school teachers who had taught him that, ‘In changing times, we must take our stand on unchanging principles.’ This powerful and ancient perspective on change endures from Plato to the present. The philosopher had wisdom that still carries down to us like a gentle breeze through the centuries.”

That’s Today’s +1.

On what unchanging principles are you building your life?

For me?

I’m committed to building my life on virtue.

I know the game I’m playing and I’m committed to playing it well—living with Wisdom + Self-Mastery + Courage + Love + Hope + Gratitude + Curiosity + Zest.

TODAY.

While, of course, remembering that disaster is simply virtue’s opportunity.

Here’s to strong foundations that weather any and all of life’s inevitable storms.

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