Forming Characters

What Does It Mean To Change The World?

Dano Jukanovich

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Forming characters! Whose? Our own or others? Both. And in that momentous fact lies the peril and responsibility of our existence.”


Aristotle said “‘Power will show the man;’ for the man in power is at once associated with and stands in relation to others.”

Left to our own devices, those of us with relative power will endeavor to meet our own needs, sometimes at great expense to others. Millions still in slavery today; hundreds of millions killed in wars; incomprehensible inequality. There is nothing inherently wrong with the desire to meet our higher-level Maslovian needs, except when it comes at such massive expense to others. By establishing our self-interest as the priority requirement for our leaders, we are responsible for the systems that perpetuate this injustice. 

Determining What is Good

Aristotle calls Justice the “whole of virtue” because it is the one Cardinal Virtue whose foundation is human relationships. Every Justice theory speaks to the interests of one party versus another. It tries to determine a proper, harmonious, right, fair, or equitable way for these interests to be addressed. We are the ones who create the imbalance to these scales that manifests as today’s apocalyptic horsemen of War, Famine and Pestilence.

Let’s Change the World

The Gates Foundation really is eradicating Malaria and Google really is making information accessible to under-resourced people around the world. Jamie Dimon and his compatriots at JP Morgan Chase have made markets more efficient and generated greater profits for the poorest in Africa and the wealthiest on Wall Street. These are not merely drops in buckets. These are real and good and long-lasting world-changing people and activities. But they are only addressing symptoms, not root causes. 

The root issue that manifests itself as Injustice is simply the virtue or lack thereof that makes us value others less than ourselves.

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