The Act of Being Kind to Yourself and Others

Posted: July 25, 2013 in Robert P.

What is agency? According to Aristotle’s theory on “agency,” “agency is the power and duty to act, the power and duty to act in pursuit of your goals, and the power and duty to act in pursuit of yourself.” For example, the power and duty to act is the foundation for a man to lead his life in accordance with his virtues, by virtues Aristotle means to be honest, respectful, courageous, forgiving, and kind. These virtues, if initiated properly into the soul will allow man to flourish-be happy, as he was intended to. And lastly, by acknowledging the power of the virtue, man will flourished into a good soul by being aware of himself by skill of reasoning, serving his community well, and earned living obtaining support from it.

The useful concept of agency can be used as a foundation for the kind of person one wishes to be, and how he or she will become that person. For example, Emerson said, “if you trust yourself and work towards the proper development of yourself by discovery of your innermost talents, then you should not accept society’s false reward of property.” Emerson is stating: if you can depend on your thinking and rationale, you will discover the deepest ability to understand emotion intelligence, and whatever society wishes to reward you with will not excel what you have completed for yourself.

The concept of how to use agency begins with imagining a state of mind that one desires to adopt, for the creation for becoming a “good soul.” Einstein said, “Logic will get you from A-Z; imagination will get you everywhere.” Reasoning and rationality will get you from one destination to another but your imagination will allow you to soar beyond this universe, not to mention the newness of mind, cultivated with bright ideas that make you aware of life. Biggie Smalls said, “my minds my nine, my pens my Mack ten.” His weapon was his imagination and what came from it.

Agency has power; therefore, I will utilize that ability to encourage myself to do well. Agency has productivity; therefore, I will be respectful to my time, in how I am spending it. Agency has action; therefore, I will do because I acknowledge myself. Agency also has goals.

The weapon (mind) of agency can be used to empower people and communities into becoming a fundamental unit of happiness, true of what is beautiful and just, and aiming for good living. In order for agency to be a useful weapon, practical thinking must be inherited to be able to compromise, reason, and use valid judgment when accessing one’s virtues, and by virtue Aristotle means, to involve reason in thought and speech. When you inject reason into thought and speech, with the intention of becoming happy when formulating your concepts, your actions, and your deeds you become the meaning of your growth as a man of empathy and humility. I become the meaning of my growth as a man of empathy and humility.

  1. Liam says:

    Thanks for your contribution, Robert (and sorry I am so late to reply; life happened). I like this piece. You brought together many sources for the sakes of a powerful point: a good will combined with a rational plan in a disciplined agent can work wonders. Somewhere between the Einstein quote and the Biggie quote I was reminded of a Bertrand Russell quote – he said that logic, used properly, is like “cold steel in the hands of passion”. The idea is that logical thinking can get you a long way, it is “cold steel” that cuts through the nonsense life parades in front of us. But to be used properly it must be “in the hands of passion” – the weapon must be wielded by someone who is passionate about causes like justice. It is not enough merely to possess the ability to use it, you must have the will to use it too.

    • Robert Pleasant says:

      Life does happen so, thanks for remembering me. I am aware that most people have no desire to put Biggie Smalls and Albert Einstein together, in any capacity but because we are talking about imagination and kindness, we are talking about a universal connection goes beyond status. I am of the mind set that being kind, in some form or fashion is derived from the imagination. But then, what is kindness? I asked that question now after reading your reply. Kindness is an individual attempt based on who we are, where we are from, who we are around or those in our personal circles. When I was incarcerated someone would send me letters of encouragement, and at the end of each letter this person would write, “be kind to yourself and others.” I thought it strange because of my environment but I also thought that it was way to be creative and imaginative in my approach towards the next human being.

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