By Dr. Bolz
This is a time when we must search—-search deep into our very own souls…. to realize our own true nature. To realize the nature of nature and understand our own true purpose in this life on earth. Then we must ACT.
This is not a time for complacency, for hate, for antagonism; but a time when universal love must be realized. We can be the conduit of love, or we can be the conduit of hate. We can create good health or we can destroy our health by how we live, think, act. We can be complacent and just grumble about the world or we can be a tool of change and a beam of light.
The major way to be a beam of light and hope is to let go of the money concept first. This must be the first step, in all aspects; individuals, businesses, corporations, non-profit organizations, any entity or group formed by humans. For all groups, whether profit or non-profit, the real goal needs to be something other than financial. That is, the goal must be based on philosophy. The first and foremost goal must have a philosophical backbone and one which is beyond the benefit of the members of the group. It must have a true philosophical base which is for the well-being of this planet and its atmosphere and the panoramic view for the common good of all. “All” includes vegetation and self-moving creatures, including insects. “All” includes humans, but humans as only one of the species with all other species being equally important.
Humans, egotistically believing they are the superior species is the first mistake which humans make and is the mistake that is leading to the destruction of themselves ultimately. All species of vegetation and moving creatures are equal in their right to survive and flourish. Humans are only one of the species; not THE species. That dictator relationship which humans are assuming with the other species and of the earth, has been and is detrimentally destructive because it is a false premise and is not based on reality. We humans need to respect all forms of life. For example, if you don’t like that bug or spider, or whatever, in your house, gently scoop it up and gently take it outside where there is some vegetation, don’t kill it. They are trying to survive as much as you are. Killing insects indiscriminately is killing humanity, yourself included, because humanity cannot survive alone, humanity needs the insects to survive.
When a group of humans want to set up an organization; they must first have a goal as to what type of benefit, for the sake of service to the species and to the ecosystem that they would like to pursue. The system and the species can be varied, the goal may be for the benefit of a small group or the benefit of multiple groups and it must also be in cooperation with mother nature and must be nurturing and flourishing to the members of the group.
After the goal is determined, then the plan can be studied and devised as to how the financial plan will work to obtain the goal, the strategy of making a profit so the goal can be obtained. For example, take a look at the founder of the well-known founder of the Panasonic brand, Matsushita Electric Company. Mr. Matsushita Konosuke declared the real goal of creating this organization was to pay taxes to the government. Why? Because supporting the government is benefitting the people, the entire society. Government is one of the means that helps people and the environment through various social programs such as health and safety for the common good, protecting and preserving lands and resources of this earth from clean water to clear air, etc. So the goal was set up by Mr. Matsushita and he and his comrades had to construct the plan and then carry out the plan to be financially profitable in order to pay taxes to the government. He has written many books about this in which he declares that the philosophical purpose comes first and expounds on the thinking and actions it takes to accomplish one’s goals. His books have been used by many companies in Japan and he is considered a good role model for establishing successful business.
Mr. Matsushita was very successful in building his group as he had many people on board who understood his philosophy. They were happy and worked hard, they cooperated among each other because they could see and understand the goal and could see it was beyond just their individual selves. They didn’t work just for their own salaries, they worked first because there was a philosophical and ethical base for the sake of the country and all living in it. They didn’t worry about their own next financial wage increase. They knew it would result later. They trusted their leader because the leader had a philosophy that was anthroposophical and the leader operated as part of the team and did not behave as a dictator. Trust and cooperation always produces the most productive results and when it is built upon a premise other than money, it is sustainable. Any organization or individual that works for the greater good of the group, (the group doesn’t have to be human), or a larger goal than only themselves, will be able to create a strong foundation and will be sustainable. If the purpose is only financial, the foundation is weak and sooner or later, it will crumble. This is true from the smallest core group like individual families, to larger groups such as institutions and corporations, to countries, to the collective groups of countries and beyond.
So how can more sustainable groups be initiated? Just as life begins with one single cell, so it is that the sustainable action begins with one single human individual, and then the idea and action is noticed by others who are curious and some will follow that single individual because they like that person’s philosophy and work. Have you ever observed other species in nature, such as cattle herds or chickens or other animals? It is always one individual that has another idea to see what is beyond their own herd or flock and takes action. Take for example, the cow that finds its way out of the fenced pasture or feedlot through a small hole or weak wire in the fence. It gets out and then others are inspired and they follow. Or, the hen that flies over the chicken yard fence and then soon others begin to follow. It starts with one individual who explores and dares. So it is with humans. Now if that one individual has a strong philanthropic purpose which he or she pursues, others will be curious, and just like cattle and chickens, will follow and get involved. Therefore, the beginning starts with you, the individual.
So we as individuals must first decide our true “ikigai.” “Ikigai” is a Japanese word meaning “reason for living,” according to the dictionary translations. However, there is always, in the Japanese language especially, a cultural insinuation in words. Culturally, this word implies a reason for living according to a human’s given ability. This implies each individual MUST make use of their endowed gifts and abilities and must have an “ikigai.” It is also a social responsibility. Please remember that your “ikigai” must not be based on the ultimate purpose of financial gain. It must be a higher purpose beyond your “self” and it is okay, and even necessary, that financial sustainability then follow.
Being a leader doesn’t mean you start something with the intention of being a leader. It means you follow and act on your “ikigai” for your own sake. For example, you may have the purpose to help reduce air pollution, save fishes, help the handicapped, there are thousands of purposes, you get the idea. But you have to do it because you are passionate about it and YOU believe in it. Later, you will find others who are like-minded and will help you and then they will join you. It will happen, it is the way of nature, it never fails.
Now, before you can accomplish this, you must have good health first. If you yourself are not healthy and strong, you will not be able to carry out your “ikigai.” So if it is health you need now, then getting healthy is your “ikigai.” This leads to that subject of how to be healthy.
What is it that creates or destroys your health? It is the food you eat and the drinks you drink and some other factors in your lifestyle. One of the first rules to create good health, is to NOT rely on the current medical system in place. You can consult the members of the system (doctors, nurses, etc.), but do NOT rely on them. You must create your own health through the food you eat. The food you eat is what produces all your cells and physiological processes, including your thinking.
Going back to our first premise, that the goal should not be financial, then we must not make our food choices based on the price of the product. It must be based on whether it is real food first of all, how and where the food was produced, whether it is whole and fresh, and whether it will enhance or destroy your health. The problem with what most people accept as food, is that it is not. The common food supply chain and availability of the food is obtained with the purpose of making money; that is the first and foremost goal of most of the food originators and processors today. Secondly, they do take in consideration if the product will immediately kill the consumer or not (that is the extent of their understanding of producing a safe product.) So remember, when the first goal is to make money, the purpose is wrong and is not sustainable.
Many people complain that the system makes it so hard to eat real food. It is true that if you want true organic, whole food that is not processed, you must go out of your way to find it and purchase it, it costs more and you have to cook it yourself. You are very busy working, you don’t have time, you are exhausted, you are too poor to buy good food. These are all excuses; you have been brain-washed by the system and it is time you realize it.
Let’s address these factors:
Time: We all have the same 24 hours every day, so we prioritize to accomplish the tasks which we believe are the most important for us. Cut out the things you do that are not essential to creating your good health or that may even be destroying your health. Identify and examine that unhealthy activity and replace it with finding and/or growing and cooking your own meals. Prep is key! You can cook your own whole, organic meals or parts of meals ahead of time, even supply yourself with 5-days worth of prepped meals for your work week. We do have refrigerators and freezers these days that make this possible. You can enjoy immediately cooked and served meals on your days off. Enjoy. Creating your health by creatively cooking is fun. You have an “ikigai” of good health so you will have a larger “ikigai” later.
Exhausted: Self-induced stress may be exhausting you, or lack of exercise or other reasons; identify the causes and stop them. Get going on your cooking and your exhaustion will turn into exhilaration as you get involved.
Too poor: If you get rid of all the cheap, unhealthy packaged goods, you can afford whole, intact, organically-grown, real food. Cut down quantity, get rid of the “plastic” junk that big business is labelling as food. Eat less quantity, go for quality; all people can afford good food. It is an ingrained mindset that the poor people have to eat junk. It is you that is chasing the junk. Walk to the good sources, if you have, to obtain the real food; the exercise is good for you. Remember the stories of how long and far Abraham Lincoln walked to read a book?
“Seek and ye shall find” is true; it takes effort, but if you look for it, you will find it. Effort is what creates happiness and health. Laziness does not. You must be ambitious and not accept the status quo, because in these times, the status quo has been created with the wrong “ikigai.” Step out. Observe. Think. Act.