"Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18). If we do not have a vision or goal in mind or we don't know where we want to go, we may likely end up in a place not of our choosing.
The story of Florence Chadwick gives interesting insight into the importance of keeping our goals at the forefront. Chadwick swam the Catalina Channel in southern California and established national and international records. She then attempted to break the record for swimming the English Channel.
On the day set for the English Channel swim, Chadwick encountered heavy seas. However, because she had trained in the Atlantic Ocean, she was in peak condition and prepared to battle the large waves. Along with the rough weather, Chadwick encountered chilling cold. That was a problem, but, again, her training made a big difference. She was accustomed to cold water and her trainers had greased her body to help provide insulation from the elements.
Yet, with all the planning and training, the one thing Chadwick and her trainers had not anticipated was FOG. She ending up giving up on her attempt to swim the Channel. Later, when she was warm and dry, newspaper reporters asked her if she knew that she'd been only a very short distance from the shore when she gave up her effort for the record. She responded that even though her trainers told her the same thing, it simply hadn't made a difference to her. "You see," she said, "I lost sight of my goal. I'm not sure I ever had it firmly in my mind."
When we have no goal, or when our vision of the goal is obscured, we may lose our sense of purpose; even when we've prepared ourselves well. We can spend a great deal of our time, money, and other resources running around in circles. Unless we keep a clear vision of our goals, we may eventually falter and fail.
"No wind favors him who has no destined port." - Michael de Montaigne
Aristotle sees ethical theory as a field distinct from the rest. Its methodology must match its subject matter—good action—and must respect the fact that in this field many generalizations hold only for the most part. We study ethics in order to improve our lives, and therefore its principal concern is the nature of human well-being.
Aristotle follows Socrates and Plato in taking the virtues to be central to a well-lived life. Like Plato, he regards the ethical virtues (justice, courage, temperance and so on) as complex rational, emotional and social skills. But he rejects Plato's idea that to be completely virtuous one must acquire, through education in the sciences, mathematics, and philosophy, an understanding of what goodness is.
What we need, according to Aristotle, in order to live well, is a proper appreciation of the way in which such things as friendship, pleasure, virtue, honor and possessions fit together as a whole.
In order to apply that general understanding to particular cases, we must acquire, through our upbringing and habits, the ability to see, on each occasion, which course of action is best supported by reasons. Therefore practical wisdom, as he conceives it, cannot be acquired solely by learning general rules. We must also acquire, through practice, those deliberative, emotional, and social skills that enable us to put our general understanding of well-being into practice in ways that are suitable to each occasion.
~ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Jason E. Royle
Welcome to my blog. I'm an open-minded theologian committed to Christ-like compassion & understanding.
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