I am a lucky guy for many reasons. One of which is that “retirement” brings the most wonderful people into my orbit. I have the sincere honor to make the acquaintance of the man, Reuven Bar-On, who “invented” the Emotional Quotient some 30+ years ago. One of those things that, as Mr. Jobs said, “Put a little ding in the universe.” Reuven is now updating it for wider and wider application. What a great way to leave something lasting. Reuven and I had an email conversation considering a question we may want to ask: Will what I am doing stand the test of time by bettering myself and those around me?
The Test of Time
“The test of time” is a bit open ended and left to the interpretation of the individual which this type of question must. The beauty of such a question is that it can linger in the individual. Let’s be clear, anyone can leave a legacy especially if it is a moral child bursting with determination, energy and creativity instilled by their parents and adults around them. If that was the only effect we would have in a lifetime, it is worth the work of pursuing the Good Life.
A Life Worth Living
Considering how to leave a legacy is not only a good question, but it compels action. If given the chance, that question alone can lead to great discussion and individual understanding on just what legacy is for the individual. Not everyone will get it; the few that do are enough. I see such a question probing to the essential meaning of being human; “living a life worth living.” Understand and practice the Cardinal Virtues: Justice, Wisdom, Courage and Temperance. Understand and practice the essence of good character which essentially introspection and humility. Understand and practice how to achieve well-being. We find we can thrive and along the way touch happiness.
Furthermore, as you discover, model and mentor answers to this question to younger and younger people, this type of question has the promise of directing or even redirecting long, fruitful and overall satisfying lives. Good things happen when the young discover and practice what it means to be healthy, interesting, and content with the synergy of virtue, character and of a healthy Body, Mind and Spirit.
Lucky to Be Alive
Such a question can lead people to see and feel how lucky we are to be alive, in our great and free countries, at this time in history which I see as the New Renaissance. I believe 500 years from now; historians will look back to this moment in the march of civilizations and observe that “It” began back around the beginning of the 21st century.
Living the New Renaissance
I look back just a few decades before my birth to “hear” the best and the brightest comment in some fashion, “Forget about flying, you are wasting your time, my money . . . man was not meant to fly; go and invent penicillin.” Then the bicycle boys (Wright Bros) happened. Now looking forward I will see people colonizing Mars!! We have RnA protocols that beat pandemics and will cure our worst of diseases. Billions of us have a little hunk of metal and circuitry at hand and we talk to others … on the other side of the world. How did that happen? Remarkable, almost beyond contemplation; every day there is a ding in the universe. Soon, and with luck, much before I die, I will call a car, to go to my favorite ice cream store in Pittsboro, North Carolina, have a football sized banana split waiting for me and return home without a driver, in comfort and safety. How did that happen? Remarkable! Think about it!
I do need to get going.
In the meantime,
“Either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing.”