Reflection and Action

Speaking with a great group of people the other day, we spent a lot of time on the necessity of deeper reflection for the purpose of expanding our internal locus of control.

Frankly, I’m encouraged that this Zen-like approach to life and work is proliferating (quietly, slowly, marginally). If nothing else, the humility of acknowledging the logs in our own eyes is refreshing.

At the same time, I’m deeply aware that all the major spiritual, contemplative, and socially active traditions teach that the ultimate purpose of contemplation is action. The goal of going into or working on ourselves is neither to withdraw from the world nor to perfect ourselves, but to discern how, as ever-imperfect people in an ever-imperfect world, we can nevertheless make things better.

Our culture could benefit from more reflection, and for many of us that’s the first necessary step.

But what the world really needs is more and better reflected action.