After reading Katie Freiling’s excellent, three-part blog on the interconnectedness of being, “Down the Rabbit Hole“, I was reminded of a quote from Aristotle on the importance of nurturing the soul. The teachings of Aristotle were a major influence on my life and together with the lessons of Socrates and Plato, they formed in me a dedication and committment to education. Aristotle is known to have given lessons to 3 different future kings of Greece, so he knew a little about power, and how it should be used for the greater good of society.
Here’s one of my favorite quotes from him:
I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons or your properties, but, and chiefly, to take care about the greatest improvement of the soul. I tell you that virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue comes money, and every other good of man, public as well as private. This is my teaching, and if this is the doctrine which corrupts the youth, I am a mischievous person.
As we continue to grow in wisdom and mastery of our skills, it is vital to our society and our culture that we “give back”. There is a mindset you must have in order to be truly successful in whatever you choose to do. That mindset is rooted in the nurturing of the soul, or the self, or whatever it is you want to call the energy in you that is your being. The universe is made up of this energy, which is interconnected throughout space and time. And without giving it back to the place from which it came, you will eventually wind up “empty”. In truth, when we give back to the universe, we are also giving back to ourselves.
To see what some great teachers are doing to give back, check out these excellent people that are helping make a difference: (Jonathan Budd, Katie Freiling, Scott Brandon Hoffman). They are examples of a society within the larger culture (a new academy promoting value and integrity through social networks).