On Connection

by Dorian Minors

March 28, 2021

Analects  |  Newsletter

Excerpt

Connection, to me, is one aspect of any good cynosure: something to focus on in a value system if you believe what I believe. Despite the trope of the ‘competent man’, no man is competent alone. It’s not possible. There is no ‘self’ without the distinction of the ‘other’. There is no competence without a measure against which to judge it. This is the defining quality of the human animal … our capacity for nurture—aligning ourselves to something greater than ourselves.

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Meaning is derived not from the doing of things, but from the doing of things for something greater than ourselves. Filtering our betterment and gratification through our connection to something more makes the whole thing come together.

Despite the trope of the ‘competent man’, no man is competent alone. It’s not possible. There is no ‘self’ without the distinction of the ‘other’. There is no competence without a measure against which to judge it. We take people as our measure and our guide. This is the defining quality of the human animal. Not our ability to imagine, or abstract, or articulate the content of our minds. It is our capacity for nurture that truly makes us what we are. Our betterment is only meaningful in its reflection in the lives of others. Our gratification is most satisfying when it can be shared. Without connection, we are reduced to lesser creatures—merely sating the appetite of the body. And yet, we continue to take heedless steps toward excellence or hedonism and with each step we move further from those who would make those things matter.

So, let’s make them matter.


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