I have written in this blog about thoughts versus actions in several ways, such as love versus kindness. In that case love is totally internal, a mixture of kind thoughts and feelings, but until it is manifest in some action that is actually helpful to the other person, that other person can not benefit from the internal love. Kindness is quite different because it has some form of action that is based on the other person’s needs, desires, and hopes. Kindness isn’t limited to internal thoughts; it is expressed in helpful actions. We need to emphasize that for love to be effective the other person must be aware of it coming their way. That is what I have been calling action.
I have a similar relationship with the words and ideas surrounding education. Pure education is pumping information into some person’s head, and I consider that to be a waste of time, energy, money and brain potential. What is needed is a known goal that is being sought, and the education provides the sets of needed information, ideas and skills that can be learned in a school setting. A degree in some subject implies that a person has acquired some particular set of skills, and is therefore capable of performing some worthwhile action. But there is a backwardness about that approach, because that approach creates little motivation to acquire a deep knowledge of the information being presented. It would seem more reasonable to seek out problems that need to be solved, and then work on the ways to solve the problems and then acquire the education and skills needed. When there is a specific purpose for learning something it becomes much easier to learn it, and more exciting, too. The education has a purpose, and that purpose is based on intended actions.
My basic quest lately is to find people who want to do something, anything, not just talk about feelings. I am watching for people who have found ways of becoming self-motivated to do something. They are the ones who will be able to become enthusiastic about doing something really important. Many people are interested in improving our human relationship with the world, but it seems difficult to find a meaningful way to approach that problem. Many people are also interested in personal growth, and some are trying to help other people, people they know, to grow to greater maturity. Their efforts seem mostly to be directed at helping desperate individuals who lack a sufficiently positive worldview to be fully functional. But there is a real opportunity for meaningful action, and this is where we should focus our action.
What is presently needed is to develop a meaningful organization of a few people who have a background of helping people find their own path to a meaningful life, something that can be effective across a wide spectrum of personal problems. This isn’t just attempting to bring medically sick people to a better condition; it is more aimed at bringing normally functioning people to an even more mature station in life. And to go even further, to motivate mature people to be even more productive.
There doesn’t seem to be any organizations that are pursuing this for adults. It is similar to the Montessori method of education, but it is intended to pursue those types of ideas and methods beyond childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood, to maturity, and beyond if possible. To raise humanity to higher levels of emotional maturity we need people of action to lead the way.
As we explore the new ways available we can help others to choose their own best paths.