The majority of my week days revolve around what most people’s life revolves around; work. We need to support ourselves in order to pursue aspects of our lives that require the resources that the money made provides. If there is some satisfaction from this activity then it is a bonus and motivates one to invest more energy into doing a good job.
As with any activity moderation in the amount of energy that is invested in this pursuit is required or at least recommended. By happenstance Ba(r)be has an assignment on Aristotelian Ethics. She said that if we are going to have a chat we have to talk about this subject as she is trying to finish this assignment for school. Ethics is a subject that I’ve studied a long time ago in a philosophy class. It was an introductory course so we covered all the various viewpoints that have been developed throughout the centuries. Naturally this study begins with the ancient Greeks and Aristotle is always a component of these studies.
On the surface of it what he proposes is really straight forward. He approaches the subject from a really practical point of view and tries to base his view in the commonality of human experience. What he builds has been subject to much debate throughout history but nevertheless his influence on our society even now cannot be understated. Every law and mode of behavior has his influence either in support or opposition to his views. Especially in western society both in the secular and religious realm.
Basing his views and creating conceptual aspirations based on common experience he on the one hand allows it to be immediately comprehensible but on the other leaves a lot of room for debate. I like that in his view moderation of extremes lies at the core of ethics and from that point of view he expands on how things can go astray. We need people and society to behave in a civilized manner and it follows that if we are to live in peace with each other we have to somehow be on the same page with core principles that guide our behavior. I’m not saying he is right but he is a starting point and his ideas have a hopeful and positive aspiration.
It is against this backdrop that I woke up early this morning to have a chat with someone that I care about. In a sense I’m channeling a virtue espoused by Aristotle and that is courage in the sense that I’m doing something that if I didn’t do it it would be shameful or cowardly. It is something that a person that cares needs to do in order to help another even if they don’t really want to. I put those feelings aside in preparation so as to be clear and present in the moment. In order to listen and speak clearly, precisely, and concisely in order to be understood and to understand.
The conversation went well. As I’ve spoken to both sides a picture of what is going on emerges. The picture has troublesome aspects to it but it also has positive pieces to it as well. Mediating between both parties and trying to broker a consensus will not depend on my actions it will depend on theirs. The motivation is certainly there but as anyone knows trying to get a good fit between pieces sometimes requires a bit of modification and a bit of finesse.
When you look in the mirror the reflection you see is you. This is not the only time you see yourself. Subconsciously people pick up your actions and attitudes and reflect that back to you. This is harder to recognize because you don’t see your face in those actions. You don’t recognize why you do such things and why it irritates the other. These things that people do feed forward and amplify and before you know it they can be destructive. The mirror can also be positive it is a neutral thing we just project our perceptions onto it and that is wha we see.