A Moral Compass

 I often feel that we are morally adrift, that we do not have a clear sense of how to ground our identities and actions to ultimate values that transcend time and place. That is not to say that our society is largely immoral. Just amoral—lacking a clear compass or a foundational guide.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/experts/gregg-henriques-phd

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The image shows integrity as the core or hub of the moral compass: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles

synonyms: honesty, uprightness, probity, rectitude, honour, honourableness, upstandingness, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, nobility, high-mindedness, right-mindedness, noble-mindedness, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness

My preference was for the cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance

Prudence anever-let-societynd justice are the virtues through which we decide what needs to be done; fortitude gives us the strength to do it and temperance tells us how to do it.

Virtue is not easy; it involves sacrifice and challenge of ormoral-compass-quote-roosevelt at least avoidance of peer pressures.

When I wrote about this about 12 years ago, someone commented that we should not require these values/virtues/principles to be taught in school but instead set the example ourselves. I agree that we should but know we frequently fall short…

So if integrity is the true North of the moral compass of life, how do we instil it in our own lives and those of the next generation?

Your ideas, experiences and thoughts would be appreciated. My spur of the moment suggestion and this is what I am doing, is to start a conversation, issue a challenge, ask for help. Would that be worth it or should we just leave it to osmosis and hope for the best?

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Fishcakes

Even though I say it myself, I regard my culinary talents as adventurous, even challenging!

I only married in my 30’s, so had a fair bit of cooking experience in my bachelor days, despite living in Africa where cooks were often employed for most meals. Of course being an African male, I am an experienced vleis braaier, which is Afrikaans for ‘meat guerrilla’.

braai-vleisThe braaivleis, known as barbeque in many parts of the world, is a cultural practice which involves the cooking of piles of meat. The cooking often takes place after a few drinks and is not really that important; the meat just has to look cooked. It often does in the evening twilight, after a few beers…

But I am not here to talk about meat, of which, I have realised, I eat too much. Accordingly, I have resolved to give up meat for Lent in accordance with older traditions and instead of beer.

My wife is perturbed as I said that I would eat more fish, which she is not fond of. So I have set out to show her that there is no need to fear, by cooking some fishcakes as a surprise.

In order to ensure a special dish, I used my pilchards in chili sauce, which I had been saving pilchards-chilifor a treat. I combined it with some bread crumbs of the nutty, seedy bread she prefers. To make the mixture more special and because she doesn’t like raw onion, I used sliced pickled onion, which I thought was quite innovative. To add some colour, I added a couple of sliced pepperdews, small red capsicums in a sweet syrup. I mixed in an egg for binding, salt and pepper seasoning and some finely chopped parsley from the garden. Simple!

Please note, this was my own recipe!

The mixture made six and a half cakes, which I fried in olive oil. Even though I say it myself, they were delicious! (A couple fell apart, so I had to eat them for lunch).

To my consternation, my wife turned down the fishcakes without hesitation – she doesn’t like tuna, chili or my cooking, especially when I try different ingredients…

Looks like I’ll be cooking for myself for the 40 days of Lent.

P.S. I had a nibble of half a cake before I went to bed. I must confess I had a very weird dream about riding a brown ox which was chased by a lion past a lion reserve full of identical lions following each other, holding the tail of the foremost one in their mouths…

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Change is gonna come

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” -Richard Feynman

If one despairs for too long, one may resort to desperate acts.

Certainly if I was an American, the Trumpfarce would lead me to believe that the prevailing system of government has failed. I am not American, but that’s what I think.

Democracy as we know it originated 2000 years ago; the US Constitution and European parliamentary conventions were designed for agrarian society.

Government bureaucracies can no longer keep pace with the chsamson-destructionanges and complexities of our world today.

There are all sorts of distortions and allegations and conspiracies and we can no longer discern what the truth is, nor rely on elected representatives to tell the truth.

What we are witnessing in the US is the self-destruction of a huge political system.  Hopefully it will be the harbinger of a new dawn in political mechanisms. It is not just the US that needs political change.

It is not just the US that needs political change.

Post truths have been bolstered by alternate facts and the need to be first with the news makes Twitter the prime source, with its fake news and flake views of the mad, bad and greedy. Journalistic integrity has largely sold out to Mammon.

All of a sudden, people are hating each other because of the political T-shirts they wear. The concept of loyal opposition in Parliaments or Congresses no longer exists. The modern political goal is solely the attainment and retention of power, notwithstanding the destruction and obliteration of the views of nearly half the population!

When perspectives are unrepresented in discussions, when different kinds of thinkers aren’t at the table, parliaments become echo chambers rather than sounding boards — and we all lose.

If you want something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.strong-from-weak

Most great things in your life won’t happen by chance, they will happen by choice.

I believe we need to do a reset, and stop limiting next-gen governance by the tools and assumptions of our past approaches.

To meet the huge challenges confronting us, we need more than incremental digital tweaks, we need a breakthrough in large-scale collective wisdom.

We need new political systems which enable effective governance which meets the needs of our society; the information age is when and where it should happen.

We also need an acid test to identify the truth.

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Most of these thoughts and quotes come from blogs on medium.com and particularly:

Arthur Brock https://medium.com/metacurrency-project/broken-assumptions-of-governance-63cc946ccc6c#.2xe4svqwq

Don’t worry, be happy

I like the idea of positive psychology.  she-believes-she-could

Instead of studying what’s wrong with us to eradicate it, study what is right to emulate it!

The stoic philosopher Epictetus believed that: ‘It’s not things that upset us, it’s our view of things.’

We all have inherent tendencies to certain negative thoughts that evoke unhappiness and disturbance. Once we accept that fact, we can learn to spot these negative thoughts as they arise and then challenge and re-think them.

Or just stop thinking negatively:                  i-decided ctrl-alt-del

 

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roses-and-thornsCognitive therapy is all about learning about how our thoughts create our moods; I can recommend it.

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It teaches one to test one’s negative thoughts, which become beliefs which become thunderstorms.

 

Looking at them closely discloses their falseness, so they can be discarded.

Fill that space with good thoughts! 

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