Viable humans have four qualities that enable freedom: consciousness, self-awareness, creative imagination, and independent will. Together, these give us the power to respond, to choose, to adapt, and to evolve our views. These qualities are manifestations of mental clarity and intelligence. We display them according to circumstance and need.
It is best to use our intellect and objective discernment as we encounter situations in our daily lives. While we are flexible and open to opinions from others, we remain grounded by setting boundaries around our sense of independence. At the same time, compassion and empathy are present in the mind; they provide a backdrop for effective, humane, yet independent thought and action.
Being able to objectively sense the what, when, where, who, and how of events allows us to become like a journalist in making sense of our surroundings and better understand our fellow humans. This type of thinking allows us to intellectually and emotionally connect with others without needing to follow lock-step every legal social demand.
When discernment is engaged, we can listen to the opinions and viewpoints of other people as we seek the truth. We’re able to sift out the hype and misinformation as we get to the heart of what’s important. We interact with people yet decipher their essential truthfulness and reject their falsehoods.
Often, through trial and error, we develop resilience and learn how to set clear personal boundaries. We call out people who trespass our boundaries firmly but not violently. We value our independence so we establish expectations as to how we wish to be treated and dealt with.
In so much that it’s easy to let emotions cloud over our effectiveness. Mental clarity allows us to figure out how our emotions distort perception and diminishes our objectivity. With this in mind, we learn how and when to use our intellect more and also determine which cases we need to use our hearts more. It’s wise to be alert to cues and signals to better understand what is happening in order to independently form the best decisions.
To many people, such an approach might seem cold and detached. However, they are unaware of the emotion and compassion we have deep inside. We don’t need to gush with emotion at the drop of the hat. Our empathy remains an ingredient while using assertion, discernment, objectivity, and careful consideration of other alternatives. The balance of heartfelt emotion with a cool head will serve others and ourselves better in the end.
It is entirely possible to understand the wheeling and dealing of the world without being off-putting and jaded. We maintain friendships and supporters. We can be independent, viable people without being intolerant, mean, and narrow-minded. The wise person discovers the balance between isolation and gregariousness and how to tweak this balance as needed. As we learn how to implement this balance we become not only respectable and respect others; but we effectively act on our own as necessary.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes 19th-20th century Austrian architect, esotericist, social reformer, and philosopher, Rudolf Steiner. “A philosophy of freedom must set out from the experience of thinking, for it is through this experience of thinking that a human being discovers his own self, finds his bearings as an independent personality.”