Got your attention? What does it say about our culture when the amount of attention one gets or fame one achieves is in direct proportion to the amount of sizzle, sensationalism, sex, or controversy used to market the concept? Isn't there something wrong with a society that glorifies and rewards scandal and ignores goodness?
Today, in a world filled with half-truths and scant accountability, millions of people feel stripped of their dignity and power. Having bought into "the good life" and now finding themselves paying too high a price for the life they're leading, they're barren of hope and struggling with the stress of making some sense out of life's demands and complexities. Facing naked truths takes courage and clarity. While many are saddened to find that "the good life" is perhaps not so good for them after all, there is another path. A path that cuts through the clutter and leads to a better, easier, less stressful, and more satisfying good life. It's found in a totally private place within us that belongs to us alone. And that makes it worth protecting and appreciating beyond any measurable worth.
Within this priceless place lies The Inner Bottom Line. Label it your heart, soul, spirit, center, being, gut. It's The Inner Bottom Line that you will turn to or be forced to face as a measuring stick, a balance sheet, to compare what you aspire to and what you've actually accomplished. In the end, the only opinion, judgment or standard that matters will be your own.
In your heart, soul, and mind, you'll never be able to run away from your own truth. Who you are, what you're made of, and what you've done with the life you were given to live. Ultimately, the choices you make create your life. So take this adventurous journey of discovery. You might meet yourself along the way!
©2004 Olive Gallagher (P)2004 Olive Gallagher
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
At the end of a premiere of one of Steve Martin's early films, a hostile critic approached him afterward and snapped, "it's not exactly Doestoyevski, is it?!" Martin retorted, "no, it wasn't meant to be..." And so it would be just as unfair to accuse Gallagher's straightforward little book of basic ethical behavior and social interaction of not being Kant, Rousseau or Tolstoy. It simply isn't meant to be. What it is meant to be is a compact iteration of the simplest principles of morality which, ironically, remain some of the most difficult to put into practice. It is fine to ponder the complexities of Anna Karenina, The Critique Of Pure Reason or Morality As Natural Law, and we should be able to delve to those depths, but first and foremost, we must find our own central moral core, unmolested by worldly opinion and pressure, exploring the profoundly simple but remarkably difficult "do unto others" that alone has the power to transform ourselves and the world--if we ever find a way to truly lay hands on it.
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