A Universal Way of Life for the 2000s
Using values to parse options would increase self-esteem
Using values to parse options would increase self-esteem.
I arrived at this thought while reading my Exeter class notes.
I began to use my ontological values - tolerance, democracy,
helpfulness and non-idolatry -
as a means of considering life choices I had made.
Exeter continues to impress me beyond any
school I ever attended
and I now understand that it is because it
strikes me as having mirrored these values
at least to some extent,
and to have had a similar impact on classmates
more than a half-century later.
I do not have anything approaching a similar
feeling for the college I attended.
Nor for most institutions of higher learning in the US.
The reason now seems to me not my manifest
faults and abnormalities,
but the relative absence of these values
Had I been aware of the massive
importance of these values, I doubt I would
have decided to attend my college.
I would have gravitated to one of the
few institutions where these values
were more manifest.
The College of Wooster and Oberlin
come to mind.
If there is any take-away from this, it is that
running virtually any decision
through the gauntlet of these ontological values
(universal, general, part of being)
will at least increase self-esteem
and at most save you from decisions that
later turn out to have been wrong-headed.
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Stephen C. Rose
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