There have been no Aristotle sightings lately but if there are, please let me know. I selfishly want to spend a few minutes with him. Even though he has been dead for over two thousand years, he is sighted everywhere; his works are sighted everywhere, that is.
Don't let the reference to Aristotle intimidate you. If I can get my arms around Aristotle's thinking, anyone can. Aristotle focused on the fundamental question of human existence: how should we live? His object was to formulate guidelines for how to live. Today it is referred to as the study of well-being.
Aristotle's primary principle is referred to as teleology. Teleology means living for the right object, the right reason, the right purpose. For example, live so as to have well-being. In my book, "Getting Out of the Boat!" well-being equates to a life of purpose, meaning, and fulfillment-not success and wealth.
The essential point of Aristotle's thinking is the end point (telos): to achieve the best that is in us. In other words, "The greatest meaning of life comes from associating growth toward the final realization of one's true self (natural gift)." Between you and me, that is discovering a relationship with our individual uniqueness and a call to live this uniqueness to make a better world. This is progressive realization of one's true potential, knowing that in our finite world that realization can never be total.
Remember that purpose, meaning, and fulfillment are not goals: they are outcomes.
The action to live in conformity with one's gift and talents means sharing your gift with those you encounter each day. In doing so, one finds autonomy, self-confidence, relationships, self-development, energy, etc.
Thom Winninger shares what it means to really love and be loved. Can you love not only others but can you love yourself. Love is a characteristic of human nature that must demonstrate itself without judgment.
Don't over pack for the journey.
Life is not so much about how much you accumulate but how well you are prepared to engage the opportunities that come your way with what you have. Life is a journey of applying your gift and talents to the opportunities that show up in your path. There is a false human notion that you create your own opportunities. Actually, opportunities are part of the divine intent for your life.
Many miss these opportunities because they are too busy accumulating things trying to insure that they don't fail all the while they are failing.
Life is not about the trophies, houses, cars, or boats, it is all about the worthwhile use of the gift your were created to share.
The Lord summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. In this way he called them to bring hope to those who they encounters.
He instructed them that they need nothing but (their gift) a walking stick; they need only the word of my Father to support them. All else would come to them as part of their journey.
The walking stick is your gift.
Not everyone received the Apostles just as not everyone will respond to your loving care, and faith. You cannot be everything to everyone. Help those who you can help and don't let yourself be affected by rejection from those you cannot help (Mk. 6:7-13).
Morning: Help me today to give and not to count the cost.
Evening: When today did I share my gift without expecting anything in return?
-Thomas Winninger, Commentator