Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Best Class Ever... Part II

Time for a little update on my "Principles of a Life Philosophy" Class.

4. Feel your power, and use it generously.  Better for others is often good for me.
We started with a discussion of how low unemployment leads to high unemployment and how the cycle inevitably continues when we try to solve it.  The "Handshake Approach" cycles stable employment with moderate wage increases and seems to be a solution to unemployment, as well as demonstrating how power can be used effectively without anyone taking advantage of the system. Discussion revolved around what our sources of power over others are, what prevents us of being aware of it, and the role of power in social interactions. In every situation, power is two-sided depending on how you define power.  It is also in the eye of the beholder.  We should be mindful because power is not always what we think it is.

Quote of the Class:
"Nearly all men can stand adversity; if you want to see his character, give a man power." - Abe Lincoln

5. There's always something to learn from others. Use the "Dupin-Method" - an empathetic mind - and remember the letter is right in front of you.
For this class, we looked at a brief over of the history of the world. It really is interesting to think that life as we know it only started 50K years ago, as opposed to the universe starting 550M years ago.  We looked at what the crucial elements were that made humans, well, human: creativity, expression, art.  (Cave paintings, for instance.)  We then discussed factors that brought success to different civilizations, studied decisive moments in history, and then looked at how artists learn from other artists.  The reading was Poe's "Purloined Letter" which explains the Dupin-Method. The discussion revolved around why we insist on defending our own ideas versus being open-minded and having a spirit of learning.  Which takes more energy? Which is better? Is there balance?  We live in such an unequal world that it is easy to feel superior, but there is always something to be learned regardless of what we might think.  I love this philosophy, as it is such a great reminder to not be judgmental and really try to learn from others.  

Quotes of the Class:
"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." - Mark Twain
"Happiness is not about having high goals, it is about lowering expectations."

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