Gratitude (according to Cicero)
What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
Fish Eyes on Terra Firm - An Exercise in Gratitude
Gratitude (according to Cicero)
Inspired by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)'s quote, "What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?". The titled responsion is...
Kindness strikes me as a social act. Certainly one could heuristically prime themselves towards acts of kindness and self-validation, however, gratitude, for-me (and Cicero) is the greatest of virtues. The titled responsion above attempts to "unthrown" Jean-Jacques Rousseau's claim that kindness is the greatest wisdom. Could it be that virtue and wisdom are distinctively pair bonded, complicate in their explicit nature? The argument continues or simply goes in a different direction. I offer a starting point and the data to drive expansion. Your turn!
What wisdom is this, and where can you find it? When it comes to love, is there anything you can learn that will make you a better lover? Is there more to having a good love life than kindness?
I think that we all have some degree of wisdom, but we just tend to be ignorant of it. It's like being ignorant of the fact that the sun is out and you're alive. You may see it every day, but it doesn't know that you're alive. The only thing that you're ignorant of is your body. I'm not saying that it knows you are alive, but it does exist.
It's the same with people. We may not realize it, but they are as conscious of who we are and our abilities as we are. If they knew our full capabilities and how much we could help them in their lives, they'd want us around. Unfortunately, most of them don't have the courage to ask for help, but they do want it.
How can you find that level of kindness in yourself? Is there something that you can learn about yourself that will change the way you act? I believe there is. But, it is going to take some effort on your part. There is no shortcut to wisdom and kindness.
So what can you do if you want to learn how to have the two things together? One thing that you can do is change your attitude. Just think about it for a moment. Think about the last time you were angry with someone else? Or even the last time that you were happy with someone else?
When was that? Did you have the courage to face that anger head on or did you simply run away from it?
So you've got to find the attitude that you're going to use in order to master the qualities of kindness and wisdom. The first one is called "being open."
An open heart means that you are honest about your feelings, whether they are positive or negative. It means that you're ready to listen and allow the other person to share what he/she feels.
Then, you need to be able to use your open mind. This means that you're open to all sides of a question and willing to learn. You can then be willing to accept all of those answers and learn them all at the same time.
Next, you need to be wise. We all need to be wise at some point in our lives. We need to be wise in our relationships with other people. We need to be wise in the world at large and in the work place.
And, we need to be wise in our finances. We have to be wise when it comes to our health. and in the way we live our lives. But most of all, we need to be wise when it comes to our relationships with ourselves and others.
So how can you gain wisdom and kindness? The first step is to learn to be more open to other people. and your ability to open yourself up to what's around you. The next step is to learn to be wise in your choices. Learn to know yourself.
And, finally, you need to learn to be wise in your actions. So in my opinion, that's it, the answers to what wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness.
It's important to understand that kindness can help you, but it needs to be complemented. I mean, when you are compassionate with yourself you will be a much more likely to be compassionate with others. When you are compassionate with yourself, you will become a much more likely to be compassionate with others. And, hopefully, when you are compassionate with others, you will find that you are also compassionate with yourself.
The bottom line is, kindness is a two-way street, but you need to be careful not to become too compassionate with others. because when you become too compassionate with others you will lose control over yourself and become unkind.
And that is why you have to be very careful with what you put on the compassion side of the fence. If you are being kind to yourself, there is no place for you to be kind to others, so you have to learn to look at the fence as a mirror and see yourself as a mirror.
And for this I am grateful...
Inspired by Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)'s quote, "When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude". The titled responsion is...
Kindness strikes me as a social act. Certainly one could heuristically prime themselves towards acts of kindness and self validation, however, gratitude, for-me (and Cicero) is the greatest of virtues. What are the similarities and differences between Elie Wiesel's definition of gratefulness and Cicero's?
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