18 December 2014

What's your anschauung?

Some humor to start off today's post:
Copyright: Dustinland.com

Weltanschauung \ VELT-ahn-shou-oong \  , noun; German. 
1. A comprehensive view or personal philosophy of human life and the universe


1868, from German Weltanschauung, from welt "world" (see world ) +anschauung "perception" (related to English show ).

Weltanschauung  entered English in the 1860s from German meaning "world-view."



World-view: the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the entirety of the individual or society's knowledge and point of view. A world view can include natural philosophy; fundamental, existential, and normative postulates; or themes, values, emotions, and ethics. 

As a shameless logophile as well as an amateur etymologist, I receive the WOTD in my email. For the past 10 years, I've compiled quite a list and some stick out more than others. This one arrived in my Inbox on Sunday.  It struck me because it made me pause to consider my own perception of the world; my relation to all those things that make up this universe. In that construct, I am insignificant. 

However, in the more compressed, subjacent arena that I call my place in the world, I believe I have an obligation to make it better, both for me and for others, in particular.  (I recognize that this is an hubristic statement, based on the assumption that anything I intend or do is, in fact, a betterment; nonetheless, I persevere in my belief and thus, my efforts.)

That may seem like a do-gooder outlook but honestly, I discovered that when I am purely selfish in my pursuits, I am less happy.  Because when I achieved only for me, it was a, "Yeay for me," and then nothing additional transpired and it made the achievements feel hollow.  Yet, when I feel I have a positive impact on others, when I see someone else filled with joy or pass a milestone or accomplish a goal, I couldn't be more thrilled. I don't know what it is about seeing others achieve that makes me so darn delighted, but for some reason, it does. 

Does that mean I put myself secondary? On the contrary; in order to do my best for others, I must also do right by me - my health, my personal goals and responsibilities and fulfilling my role as a mother to the munchkins. It also means that I work to be the best version of me that I can be, which is why I take the time to run and swim, take the time to read and educate myself, take the time to be with friends and decompress from some of the everyday minutiae that can still irritate if not put in context. 

I know happiness comes from within; I am most happy when working toward raising others up. 

It is what drove me to select the Semper Fi Fund ("Support Through Sport") and MARSOC Foundation ("Helping those who have sacrificed the most"); it is what drives me to law school to study international law, human rights law, law of war and conflict resolution (no, I don't think we're all going to just "get along"....pragmatist, but hopeful).  It is why I wish to focus on children and the next generation of leaders in my post-graduate professional life.  It's that little girl in the back of the car squinting at the lights and believing in something more. 

The motto of my undergrad college: 
Non ministrari sed ministrare: "Not to be ministered unto, but to minister."

My family crest motto: 
Non mihi, sed tibi, gloria: "Glory to thee, not to me." 

My anschauung: 
"Today is an opportunity, tomorrow is another chance."

What's yours?

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