tab tab
No Comments

365DaysDailyPages7_7

Are we growing towards goodness? This is a question we can ask every day until it becomes habitual, a well known metric we can use to judge our lifestyle and daily actions by. Our growth is measured in the respect and kindness we give or withhold; the way we treat others; how carefully we tend to our moments and days; the ways we numb ourselves or awaken to the full richness of living; our ability (or inability) to expand and include others instead of tightening into closed circles of indifference and self-protection. The choices we make are the difference between steadily growing towards the light or slowly stunting our capacity for goodness.

We can take refuge in goodness – not just when things are falling apart and scary so we fall on our knees ready for grace – but in the average moments that are so often rushed through. Instead of gapping out after a long day, spending hours scrolling through pretty pictures or endless status updates, we can stop and ask if our consumption of stories is serving anyone or helping us grow towards goodness. Eventually we need to examine whether scrolling past another body on our screens is any different than stepping over a body in the street.

We can use our screens to reach out for a real warm connection or work with others to create meaningful solutions in real time; we can engage in our days with presence noting the grand unfurling of life whether it is the swirling chaotic motion of the city or the gentle rhythm of our home; choose to go digging in the dirt with our bare hands – grow something, anything tenderly and with pride. Real refuge is where we can fill up goodness, remember everything that is going right, connect with the limitless possibilities unfolding around us, and steadily grow towards the light.

Where do you find refuge in goodness?

Further Reading:

Thich Nhat Hanh, Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World

If you want to learn more about #365DaysOfPresence check out the complete archive of daily pages here, you can also connect and share your thoughts by joining our welcoming community space. This project is offered by donation, if you value these thoughts you can contribute here

tab tab
No Comments

365DaysDailyPages7_6

Dictionaries define goodness as “the quality or state of being good” from the Old English godnes meaning “goodness, virtue, kindliness”. The concept of goodness as a virtue is a primary part of many moral teachings, it can be found in Buddhist, Islamic, Christian, Judaic and philisophical texts and has been passed on by modern spiritual leaders and world thinkers.

But why be good? What is it about goodness that inspires us to become better people especially when we know that any attempt to master it might be painful and tiresome? How is it that the goodness of even total strangers can move us to be more aware of our own capacity for kindness, courage, and compassion? Why do we bother with goodness when there is often so little material reward, or even struggle, pain, and loss along the way?

These questions are hard and complicated but we can take comfort in knowing we are in good company in the asking since most of our world religions, thought leaders, artists and dreamers have asked them and now our scientists are too. There is a rushing acquisitive high we get off of indulging our self-interest which is what makes it so alluring and addictive but thankfully it isn’t the only thing that motivates us as human beings. The rewards of goodness are often intangible and slow but the warmth and expansiveness, or elevation, we experience can fill up our empty places and remind us of what it means to be human, and humane. Who isn’t hungry for that?

Further Reading:

Wired To Be Inspired article by Jonathan Haidt from The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness

The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness edited by Dacher Keltner, Jason Marsh, Jeremy Adam Smith

The Greater Good Science Center based out of the University of California, Berkley studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society.

If you want to learn more about #365DaysOfPresence check out the complete archive of daily pages here, you can also connect and share your thoughts by joining our welcoming community space. This project is offered by donation, if you value these thoughts you can contribute here

tab tab
No Comments

365DaysDailyPages7_5

The first time the girl climbed up the twisty slide and jumped off she was nervous, all tense and anxious about the consequences – she fell, but it didn’t hurt enough to stop her from wanting to do it again. The second time the girl was less nervous so she climbed a bit higher, jumping with more confidence. The third jump was all smiles and by the fourth jump she was comfortable enough to get silly pouncing off the slide like a praying mantis ninja and bloodying both knees. Grinning and limping she climbs to the top of the slide, too high for jumping and calls down, “could I jump from here when I grow up if I keep trying?”

What if we looked at goodness as a skill to be mastered? In a discussion with Ken Coleman about mastery Dan Pink describes it as being an asymptote – a curved line that can come close to touching a horizontal line but can never reach it – in this way real mastery is something we pursue without ever catching fully. If goodness is a craft then the work of becoming ‘good’ people is never done because we are all works in progress, our mastery of goodness is still being determined by our daily choices. We will never be experts but we can continuously develop and grow our expertise through steady applications of time and effort.

We expect children to be unfinished people who are in the process of becoming, the doors of possibility are wide open to them, can we grant ourselves the same permission as we continue to grow up? Maybe mastery of goodness or any other skill lies in our willingness to keep climbing, falling, and getting back up grinning, bloody knees and all; compelled by the mystery of everything that is not yet known.

Further Reading:

“Everyone’s an Expert, But Not Everyone Is a Master” Ken Coleman’s interview with Dan Pink

If you want to learn more about #365DaysOfPresence check out the complete archive of daily pages here, you can also connect and share your thoughts by joining our welcoming community space. This project is offered by donation, if you value these thoughts you can contribute here