Saturday, May 22, 2010

141 / Sense Of Self

Vice Admiral James Stockdale was Ross Perot's running mate in the 1992 Presidential election. I continue to think that the questions he posed, as he introduced himself to the American public, are questions for us all to ask (and hopefully answer):
"Who am I and what am I doing here?"
Another way to phrase the inquiry might be to ask about one's "sense of self." Typing that phrase into the Google search engine gets you to "Learn Net," and to a list that might help us define our individual sense of self. The list includes things like "occupations" and "avocations."

Are we, however, only individuals? Missing from the Learn Net list is any idea that our self-definition should recognize our fundamental connection to others - to society and to community - much less our connection to the natural world. If we are, in fact, utterly dependent on others, and on the world of nature, but our "sense" of self doesn't recognize that fact, we may be putting ourselves at risk. Indeed, I suggest that this is the root of our problems today, both environmental and economic.

A different approach to thinking about a "sense of self," more inclusive by far, can also be accessed through the Google search engine. Consider this video from Global Mindshift.

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