Saturday, August 5, 2017

Love and Fear

On May 16, 2017, former Surgeon General of the United States, Dr, Vivek H. Murthy addressed the Commonwealth Club of California to discuss a wide range of topics.

At the end of his remarks, he was asked the question that all guests of the Commonwealth Club are asked:  What is your 60-second idea to change the world?  His answer was thought-provoking and right on and is reproduced below.[1]

We have to teach our children to be moral leaders.  That will transform our country and our world. We teach our kids about arithmetic, about writing, but we don’t teach them to be moral leaders who identify, live and stand up for the values that make our society work.  Values of compassion and generosity.  Values of kindness.  I believe that there are really only two factors that drive all our decisions:  Those are Love and Fear.  Love in its manifestation of kindness and generosity and compassion.  Fear as its own manifestations of jealousy, cynicism, insecurity and rage.  But, these are the two factors that drive our decisions.  And right now, our world is locked in a struggle between Love and Fear and we have to do everything we can to tip the balance toward love.  And the way that we do that is by insuring that those values that are centered in Love are ingrained in each of us, and particularly in our children from a young age.  We need to ensure that they are exposed to those values. That we model those values for them. And that we reward that kind of value when demonstrated and exhibited in behavior and in speech. 

That’s what we have to do.  And if we do that, we create a nation of moral leaders and we can truly be the country that we can ultimately be. That we can live in a way that’s consistent with the highest values.  And we can not only improve health, but we can improve fulfillment, satisfaction and joy for everyone. 

That’s what we have to do.[2]

[2] All errors in the transcript are mine alone, and I know there are some.  I trust they have not changed Dr. Murthy’s message in any significant way.

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