What we do shows who we are

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What we do shows who we are

Postby mirjana » Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:41 pm

"Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way... you become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions."
Aristotle

http://www.deepspirits.com/ancient-sages/aristotle/

I think that what we do illustrates who we are. That is why I love this quote.
Is it possible to act kindly and not to be kind?
Is it possible to show love and not to have love in heart?
Is it possible to show understanding, compassion and not to be such a person?

What are your thoughts about it?
Mirjana
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Re: What we do shows who we are

Postby Sabina » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:24 am

Yes, it is possible to act kindly but not be kind.. that's called acting. Also referred to pretending, deceiving, etc.
Faking compassion or love is also possible - unfortunately.

That is not what Aristotle is talking about though. What he says is that we achieve a certain quality by "constantly acting a particular way", hence living it. Anybody faking anything will eventually either grow tired of it, or for another reason show their true colors. At least those close to such a person would be able to notice the inconsequent behavior - which is not to say that someone has been pretending to be kind just because their action is, in a certain situation, judged by someone else as unkind.

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Re: What we do shows who we are

Postby Pat » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:54 pm

mirjana wrote:"Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way... you become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions."
Aristotle

http://www.deepspirits.com/ancient-sages/aristotle/

I think that what we do illustrates who we are. That is why I love this quote.
Is it possible to act kindly and not to be kind?
Is it possible to show love and not to have love in heart?
Is it possible to show understanding, compassion and not to be such a person?

What are your thoughts about it?
Mirjana


Dear Mirjana What you have said does seem to make sense, yet I feel that to be able to show love, real love, has to have a place in the person . Just by the act of showing love you will experience it being the nature of love.
When ever an actor portrays this qualities in a play they come in touch with them in themselves.
Pat
:)
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Re: What we do shows who we are

Postby Sabina » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:01 am

Pat wrote:When ever an actor portrays this qualities in a play they come in touch with them in themselves.

Hi Pat! :)
*WAVE*

I do believe that an actor would have to be familiar with a certain quality in order to accurately portray it, but wouldn't whether he is truly in touch with it (in the moment in which he is portraying it) or not also depend on what the motivation is for portraying it in the first place?

If someone, for example, portrays a positive quality only in order to deceive another, then wouldn't that defeat or neutralize the whole idea and emotion that is supposed to be behind the positive quality or emotion?
Or how do you see it?

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Re: What we do shows who we are

Postby mirjana » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:52 am

Sabina wrote:...

If someone, for example, portrays a positive quality only in order to deceive another, then wouldn't that defeat or neutralize the whole idea and emotion that is supposed to be behind the positive quality or emotion?
Or how do you see it?

Sabina


Personally I would not consider that portraying a positive quality is because of deceiving. I would not put my perception to start making then the whole chain of further emotions and thoughts based on that. When I said that what we do illustrates who we are, I didn´t mean of course partial or occasional doing. Our permanent actions show the essence of our being. Persistence in a certain manner of behaviour shows the very being of the person.
Children are great in that. They take us as we come to them, positively and openly and they react openly to us when something seems to them to be weird. They put questions and not assume things.

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Re: What we do shows who we are

Postby mirjana » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:58 am

Pat wrote:Dear Mirjana What you have said does seem to make sense, yet I feel that to be able to show love, real love, has to have a place in the person . Just by the act of showing love you will experience it being the nature of love.
When ever an actor portrays this qualities in a play they come in touch with them in themselves.
Pat



Dear Pat, =0D
It is so good to see you and talk to you. [Pd]
Yes, you are right. In order to show love, person has to have it within. That is what I meant when said : "... what we do illustrates who we are".
Who we are for me is what we have as the essence of our being, our heart. This is a sum of our love, understanding, compassion... If we have it, we can not but showing it. It radiates in everything we do. If we do not have it, it shows too...

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Re: What we do shows who we are

Postby Sabina » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:18 pm

mirjana wrote:Personally I would not consider that portraying a positive quality is because of deceiving. I would not put my perception to start making then the whole chain of further emotions and thoughts based on that. When I said that what we do illustrates who we are, I didn´t mean of course partial or occasional doing. Our permanent actions show the essence of our being. Persistence in a certain manner of behaviour shows the very being of the person.
Children are great in that. They take us as we come to them, positively and openly and they react openly to us when something seems to them to be weird. They put questions and not assume things.

I am not talking about assuming that someone is trying to deceive you...
We are talking about the essence of things, or not? And in essence, everyone knows why they are doing what they are doing. My question was referring to an instance in which the person who is showing love or another positive emotion is doing it for the wrong reasons, meaning they don't actually feel the love towards the person, so they are showing it only in order to deceive. Not that I think they deceive, but they know they do. I, and others, might find out about it later, but the person who is doing the deceiving already knows it.

As an illustration, take the story of King Lear and his 3 daughters. The first two expressed their love in great terms, and easily fooled the king, however it wasn't genuine love, as he later found out. The one who, in his opinion, didn't show love well, was actually the only one who sincerely loved him.
That is what I am referring to.. such instances.

Image

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Re: What we do shows who we are

Postby mirjana » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:12 pm

Hi Sabina,

Now I understand what you meant, what I obviously haven´t so far. =0(
It is sad when something like that happens, and when it does and those experiences are connected with disappointments. Disappointment shows that we realize that somebody is not that what we thought . But, when I took the following Aristotle´s quote:
"Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way... you become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions."
my attention was to stress the positive attention , as constantly acting a particular way(brave,temperate, just...) is one of possible ways to improve self. Of course that knowing that one does something good in order to achieve something else, not having a need to act authentically, would only prove that such a person h behaving like that also becomes that what the actions are, deceiving person.
I do believe that there is a way though to start different path and by willing to change, even such persons with time and acting constantly in a new way, can become this new person.

Mirjana
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Re: What we do shows who we are

Postby Ryan » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:19 pm

I, again, am a bit confused... are we really talking about the possibilities of a fake outward appearance and the sincerity of the inner being? In an age of colored hair, plastic breasts, these implants and those reductions... political correctness and social behavioral standards... seriously?

Hmmm...

Does mimicry reflect inner beauty or simply hide the atrocity within?
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Re: What we do shows who we are

Postby mirjana » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:32 pm

Ryan wrote:I, again, am a bit confused... are we really talking about the possibilities of a fake outward appearance and the sincerity of the inner being?


My attention by posting this quote was to point how the sincerity of the inner being can be improved and evolve over time if the will is there and persistence in the way of acting, as that is how I understood this quote. I understood it as a sign how we can cultivate and develop virtues.

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