On honing your surroundings
“I am I and my circumstance”, said Spanish Philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset.
Probably his best-known quote, and a rather misunderstood one too.
What is often neglected, forgotten or ignored is the continuation: “and if I do not save it, I do not save myself.”
Against the idea that the self is an individual and separated kernel of truth, he claimed that what surrounds and involves us is what makes us.
That our environment, history and relationships make us who and what we are.
In a world of self-help, self-work and self-care, Ortega reminds us that the focus should be on what is outside of us, first and foremost. What we’re connected to.
A broken system will more often than not lead to broken outcomes. And so will a broken environment.
It’s hard to thrive or achieve what we want when we exist in broken systems, structures and networks.
So it isn’t just about honing a healthier, calmer and more content environment to become healthier, calmer and more content ourselves, but also helping those around us to develop that, too.
Being thoughtful and intentional about our surroundings, vowing to protect, serve and nurture the rest, and accepting life as a creative and caring endeavour.
Cultivating our own garden.
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