Focus, or How to Live a Good Life

Is your time well spent?

A fair amount of mine is consumed with bouncing from one good cause to another.

What are our obligations to this world?

Writer Val Brooks

…recently posted an interview of cartoonist Jan Eliot of Stone Soup fame…

…. who quotes artist Judy Chicago on the importance of focus:

“’Focus has nothing to do with limitation and everything to do with expansion.’” That’s been my guiding principal in work and life; rather than limiting what you can achieve, focus makes the thing you finally choose to do so much bigger.”

Couple this with an interview of philosopher George Kateb:…where he talks about trying to live a good life:
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/bcvideo/1.0/iframe/embed.html?videoId=100000001194766&playerType=embed

His advice, in a nutshell:

Don’t try to live a good life. We can’t know what good really is, can’t comprehend the suffering in the world and the world certainly isn’t made for our good works.

“We are all … like characters in a Jane Austen novel.  We are oblivious, and can’t help but be to some extent oblivious.  We would die from the impact of true knowledge.”

Kateb goes on, counseling: (1) Pick something to do that is not indecent, cruel or exploitative and try to do it as well as you can, as long as you think you can do it well; and then when you can’t do that anymore try to do something else. (2) Care for someone other than yourself.

Work. Love.  Focus.

What are your thoughts about how to live a good life, especially now, as we face challenges like climate change, species extinction and the loss of our wild places?

2 comments

  • If I could focus better I wouldn’t do so many things at a satisfactory level and more things at an excellent level. Great thought provoking blog.

    Like

  • I hear you there. I forgot I wrote this blog! It’s pretty good, even if it is forgettable. (OK, Julia, focus!) Thanks for visiting.

    Like

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