Definition: especially suitable or compatible; fit or proper; relevant; to do exactly what is required under the circumstances
Synonyms: becoming, congruous, adapted, particular, apt
Comment: To do exactly what is required under the circumstances may be
something very bizarre if you’re a prisoner in a concentration
camp, a kid in the ghetto, or even a housewife in the suburbs. But as
long as you are sincere and conscious of doing the
“correct” thing, then you are making a choice and you are
acting in your right mind.
Definitions: (1) possessing sympathetic consciousness of others’
distress together with a desire to alleviate it; (2) a disposition to
pity; inclined to show mercy
Synonyms: tender, soft, indulgent, kind, clement, gracious
Compatible Qualities: empathetic, sympathetic, pity, understanding
If you want to help others, practice compassion; if you want to help yourself, practice compassion. — Buddhist
You should have compassion on each other and leave judgment to God.
— Saint Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue of the Seraphic Virgin
Every human being has the potential for compassion. I have chosen to
pay more attention to it. — The Dalai Lama, upon receiving the
Nobel Peace Prize
A human being is a part of the whole called by us
“Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He [she]
experiences the self, thoughts and feelings as something separated from
the rest—a kind of optical delusion of (the personal)
consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us
to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to
us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our
circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of
nature in its beauty. — Albert Einstein
I regard it as the foremost task of education to ensure the survival of
these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit,
tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible selfdenial, and above all,
compassion. — Kurt Hahn, founder of Outward Bound
I know that most ... can seldom discern even the simplest and most
obvious truth if it be such as obliges them to admit the falsity of
conclusions they have formed,... of which they are proud, which they
have taught to others, and on which they have built their lives.
— Leo Tolstoy
Note: In your struggle to help others “see the light,” it
is important to understand the hold the past has on them, that what
they have experienced and fought for is often fused with their
identity. Realize this about yourself, too, and be sensitive to the
truth contained in different beliefs.
Mythology: Androcles was a Roman slave who while seeking freedom had
removed a thorn from a lion’s paw. When he was caught, he was
doomed to fight a lion that turned out to be the befriended animal.
Since the lion fawned on him, he was freed.
Definitions: (1) performing the tasks expected or required; respectful;
obedient; (2) proceeding from or expressive of a sense of obligation
Consequential Quality: loyalty
Duty does not have to be dull. Love can make it beautiful and fill it with life. — Thomas Merton
Symbol: the ox
Fiction: Javert, a character in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, is the personification of Duty and Devotion.
Definitions: (1) able to move in any direction; loose; (2) unhindered;
unhampered; (3) able to choose for oneself; not restricted by anything
except one’s own limitations or nature; (4) spontaneous; (5) not
constrained or stilted; smooth, easy, and graceful; (6) generous;
liberal; lavish; profuse; abundant; copious; (7) frank;
straightforward; (8) open to all
Kindred Quality: respect. When people feel freedom without any
constraints, they know that they can do anything. This includes taking
what they want even if it belongs to someone else. Add the quality of
respect for person and property, and freedom then has some dignity.
Compatible Qualities: artistic, expressive
Freedom is the power to choose your chains.
• An individual or a society experiencing fear is usually willing
to give up freedom in favor of security and protection, which
oftentimes means the reduction of personal freedoms.
Freedom is a given, like gravity, but our choices (which is also a
universal principle) restrict our freedom. We restrict ourselves by
agreeing to the rules of society (driving on the right side of the
road) or religion (going to church on Sunday). Or control by others. In
the workplace conformity is wise not only to keep your job but to keep
from being branded a trouble maker.
• If you are possessed by your possessions, you are not free.
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievance.
Definitions: (1) adapted to each other; having the parts combined in a
proportionate, orderly, or pleasing arrangement; congruous; (2) having
similar or conforming feelings, ideas, or interests; in accord or
Sing in harmony—live in harmony.
We need to rediscover the vast, harmonious pattern of the natural world
we are a part of, the infinite complexity and variety of its myriad
components, the miraculous simplicity of the whole. We need to learn
again those essential qualities in our bodies, the alertness of our
minds; curiosity and the desire to satisfy it, fear and the will to
conquer it. — James Ramsey Ullman, Age of Mountaineering
As long as you are working for your selfish little self, you’re
just one cell against all those other cells, and you’re way out
of harmony. But as soon as you begin working for the good of the whole,
you find yourself in harmony with all of your fellow human beings.
— Peace Pilgrim, Steps Toward Inner Peace
No life can be in harmony unless belief and practice are in harmony. — Peace Pilgrim, Steps Toward Inner Peace
Reflection: Relationships in harmony make music.
Comment: An individual needs to have a sense of self that is in harmony
with a healthy worldview. When one changes, the other must also change.
If they are out of sync, one will experience anxiety during the process
of reestablishing the balance.
The key is to include in your worldview the realization and acceptance
of the fact of changes, and to include in your inner being an expanding
ability to deal with change. The qualities to focus on are flexibility,
growth, wisdom, tolerance, courage, understanding, and acceptance.
There is no getting away from conflict, but one must always seek to harmonize the difficulty.
Question: The bible says man should be dominant over nature but it also
says the lamb will lay down with the lion. Which do you think is the
best way: domination or harmonization?
Colors: blue, green
Symbols: 1) the lyre; 2) three; 3) justice (Tarot); 4) the whale
Definition: feeling, expressing, or causing a very glad feeling; happiness; great pleasure; delight
Synonyms: rapture, ecstasy, exultation
Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy you
must have someone to divide it with. — Samuel Clemens [Mark
Twain], Puddin’head Wilson
Comment: Krisnamurti advises us to be “Joyfully
Discontent.” In other words, be satisfied that you have made it
to where you are but be dissatisfied just enough to keep on growing.
Symbols: 1) the butterfly (Chinese); 2) a ship plowing through the sea
Mythology: Euphrosyne, one of the three Graces of Greek
Mythology—these three sisters had control over Pleasure, Charm,
Elegance, and Beauty in human life and in nature.
Definitions: (1) having or showing superior moral qualities or ideals;
(2) famous, illustrious, or renowned; having eminence, dignity,
excellence, or fame; worthy; (3) grand; stately; splendid; magnificent;
magnanimous; (4) a courageous or gallant spirit
Derivation: Latin, “to come to know”
Synonyms: exalted, majestic, high, imperial, August, generous, lofty
Quote: Noble aim, faithfully kept, is as a noble deed. — William Wordsworth
Definitions: (1) great physical ability; strong; forcible; mighty;
intense; (2) great moral force; able to persuade or convince the mind;
(3) possessing great energy; producing great effects
Kindred Qualities: An overabundance of the desire for safety and
security leads people to focus on the qualities of power and strength.
These not balanced with the kindred qualities of compassion, kindness,
thoughtfulness, generosity, and gentleness lead to violence.
Too Far: The positive qualities of desire and power taken too far end
in greed. Every action can be and is justified by pointing to positive
Cedant arma togae (Latin): Let arms yield to the toga [Let military power give way to civil power]. — Wyoming state motto
Nonviolence is more powerful than all the armaments in the world. It is
mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the
ingenuity of man. — Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Consideration: If a person who is immature, insecure, and fearridden is
given power, the power will have to live within the person’s
emotional limits and will be subject to the constraints of the
undeveloped personality. Decisions are made that reflect the desires of
the decision maker.
Power can be impersonal—like the power of the ocean—or it
can be personal. If personal, it can be
negative or positive.
• We are still in the age of “might is right,” and
will be for hundreds of years. The question is how, in the face of
power, to do what you know is right. Sometimes it takes great courage.
• The powerful are often intent on retaining their own power. And
to that end, all else becomes subordinate.
• People in power will allow the governed to expand only to the
level of the consciousness that they themselves possess. Conversely, if
the peoples’ consciousness outgrows the consciousness of those in
power, then there is a revolution or rupture of some sort. This turmoil
results in one of two possibilities: a crackdown that holds the old way
in place for a time or the birth of a new system to bring things back
• The temptation to enhance those qualities that serve only your
personal needs is great, and the personal rewards for doing so is
seductive. If you choose your needs unfairly over the needs of others,
the results will also be unfair.
Colors: golden orange, orange
Symbols: 1) the crocodile; 2) a hammer; 3) a crown; 4) gold; 5) the Emperor (Tarot); 6) the whip (Egyptian)
Definitions: (1) expected or obligated to account for something to
someone; (2) answerable to the cause, agent, or source of something
<Who is responsible for this state of affairs?>; (3) accountable
for actions, obligations, or duties <a responsible position>; (4)
able to distinguish between right and wrong and to think and act
rationally, and hence liable for one’s behavior; (5) trustworthy;
dependable; reliable; (6) able to pay debts; meet business or personal
Kindred Qualities: humble, grateful, sunny
Definitions: (1) not easily moved or thrown off balance; not likely to
break down, fall apart, or give way; steady; fixed; (2) firm in
character, purpose, or resolution; steadfast; (3) resisting change;
permanent; enduring; (4) capable of returning to equilibrium or
original position after having been displaced; flexible
Kindred Qualities: changeable, lively, adventuresome
Too Far: stagnant
Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads. — Henry David Thoreau
Symbols: four, the cube
Definitions: (1) comprehension; knowledge; discernment; (2) the power
or ability to think and learn; intelligence; judgment; sense; (3)
friendly or harmonious relationship; an agreement of opinion or
feeling; an adjustment of differences; (4) fully aware not only of the
meaning or nature of something but also of its implications
Consequential Quality: tolerance
Damnant quod non intelligunt (Latin): “They condemn what they do not understand.”
Tout comprendre c’est pardonner (French): “To understand all is to forgive all.”
Walk a mile in another person’s moccasins. (American Indian)
This saying is encouraging us to see things from someone else’s
perspective. Even though you will then be better able to see things how
they see them, the common misunderstanding is that you will then agree
with their point of view. As always, you will retain your own unique
understanding. You cannot “become” the other person no
matter how accurately you understand them. Knowing is not agreeing.
The hardest thing to understand is why we can understand anything at all. — Albert Einstein
It is good to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding. — Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. — Viktor Frankl
Consideration: Sometimes you have to suspend your position to
understand someone else’s. It is important to do both: know what
your understanding is and allow for the other person’s
understanding. If you can do both you will be able to incorporate some
of the other’s ideas, feelings, and sensibilities into your own.
It is only fair to get a good idea of the other side, if for no other
reason than to know where to draw the line.
Comment: When someone does or says something from left field, it is
your left field that you are referring to. It is probably their
Colors: indigo, yellow
Symbol: a silver key
Definitions: (1) a cause of astonishment or admiration; a marvel; (2)
the quality of exciting amazed admiration; (3) rapt attention or
astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new and beautiful to
Synonyms: appreciation, curious, reverence, surprise
Uncertainty and mystery are energies of life. Don’t let them
scare you unduly, for they keep boredom at bay and spark creativity.
— R. I. Fitzhenry
Tip: Deal with what happens as an answer and not as a question.
Symbol: a wideeyed child