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wholly flourishing

  idealizing better being for better humanity
gary e. davis
February 2022
When all is said and done, you’ll die.

The point of your life either contributed to “the” world (future of family—yours, others’?—how exemplary, how admirable, how virtuous can you be?—futures of neighborhood—yours, “ours”?—futures of “our” community, futures of Our region, etc.) or you’ll be forgotten—later than sooner, maybe.

But the Point of your life—of all the decades you lived as only yours—is ultimately your own making.

Anyway, humanity in the aggregate will go on (one hopes). Humanity as species value may wane among forgetting masses of consumers (and opportunists). Earth can’t care.

Only life intelligent enough to articulate can care.

Lives which care greatly are superior to lives that care little.

Yet the character of virtuous caring devotedly involves caring about (and for) persons who care little for themselves or about others.

But even virtuous prudence can suffer compassion fatigue. There are healthy limits to caring about persistently careless others which belongs to the integrity of virtuous care: One’s own life rightly owns Purpose all its own: its constellation of loves and aspirations which include caring about/for others—but not so draining one’s life that it surrenders its own promise.

Yet, the future of humanity belongs to the caring people who evolve it, thus constellating history to come. The future belongs to leading degrees and scales of persistent care.

But paying forward for the sake of Our heirs’ heirs is not some grand vanity. It’s just what better persons may choose to do: devote oneself to advancing humanity.

Such virtue deserves to be regarded as a leading form of life on Our blue dot of a planet in one solar system among countless others. Leading intelligence of the only planet known to articulate anything, to build articulately, and to flourish memorably deserves high regard.

So, I think of good life at such a scale because it’s inspiring, not as if I gain virtue by loving ideality.

But I’m doing the best I can to respond well—always thankful for others’ inspiration and leading appeal.

Prospecting such virtue in particular—who, what, why, how—is part of many domains I love to explore. One doesn’t have to be gifted to want to understand giftedness. Appeals of mystery don’t ensure that one can master dark challenges. But entering the dark forest can be irresistible anyway.

My experience of the pursuit has been that leading minds don’t give time to understanding leading mind as such—nor do they give time to understanding themselves as allegedly “leading.” Rather, they love what they do, find fulfillment, then can’t wait to move on. There’s no time for tarrying with vanity.

Likewise in politics: Leading minds depart from inspirations about hope and renewal in order to get to work bettering their surround.

In the university, the pole star is the appeal of cultivating humanity—of advancing and instilling high conceptions of being well.

Leading minds are better beings, deserving admiration because they brought themselves into great belonging with better humanity.

Leading minds earn their appeal as models and mentors for others’ individuations. Their gracious exemplarity enjoys drawing others into difficult ascents by their reliable promise of better views (relative to some given landscape). They enjoy enabling others’ desire to stay true to their own course.

Better being loves bettering humanity as a keynote of cohering life.

The above encomium is a prelude to discussing a lot of others’ work, beginning this spring and continuing through the year.



  Be fair. © 2022, gary e. davis