Articles in Strengths
Moral beauty pays tribute to our stature as a social species. It elevates us towards selfless pro-social behaviors and connects us at the level of common humanity. Physical beauty, on the other hand, ties no familiar thread across time and culture.
This Thursday, March 26, you are invited to a free webinar on Love & Purpose. Why put these two topics together? Read on.
All of us can learn from paragons of strengths. The film, Selma, about Martin Luther King Jr. and the march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965, is an opportunity to reflect upon and celebrate the virtue of open-mindedness and judgment.
The character strength of Open-mindedness or Judgment becomes a sticky one precisely because it straddles a boundary between character and questioning ethics. Open-mindedness seems to stem from compassion and a sense of tolerance and receptivity. Conversely, judgment implies logic and rationality, as well as a determination that one option is superior to another.
It is a great pleasure for me to interview Emilia Lahti, a researcher whose work revolves around understanding how individuals, groups, and organizations grow from challenges and come out of hardships with a newly discovered sense of strength, purpose, and adaptability. Nowadays, Emilia is working on a Ph.D. on the age-old Finnish construct of sisu.
Lunch-time was often a struggle for my mental capacities. Rarely did a day go by when my vibrant nine-year old, just back from school, failed to enlighten us with long and winding tales of girly social interactions. Rarely did I manage to follow them all the way through. In fact, I usually lost the story line somewhere in Act One….
I guess it is the nature of parenthood to find your children ungrateful. Or at least not as grateful as they could be, should be or used to be. This feeling really hit me hard when my twins entered their teenage years. Then I realized how easily I had erased the memories of my little pigeons helplessly hooked up in their incubators, how conveniently I had become ungrateful to the forces that had listened to my desperate pleas for the life and health of my little babies.
I want to add to Lisa’s review of the book Focus by discussing prevention and promotion focus. Both kinds of focus can sometimes work together. For example, with the goal to exercise more, promotion-focus gives people enthusiasm for the gain of better fitness, and prevention-focus keeps them vigilant in the long term to avoid losing the fitness they built up.
Alexander the Great looked at the philosopher sitting there, impoverished, rags over the rib-thin body, and asked what he was doing. “I am experiencing nothingness,” said the philosopher. “What are you doing?” “I am conquering the world,” responded Alexander, and they both laughed. Each thought the other was a fool.
Although life may simply be a meaningless ride that we try and cloak with a fulfilling purpose, humor allows us to laugh at the insignificance of most things in the vast flow of human experience and yet connect to what we find truly important.