Thursday, March 22, 2018

Faith, hope, love, and insight are the highest achievements of human effort.

This weeks 2-on-1 topic was chosen by my good friend - the sage of Pune - Ramana. "Faith, hope, love, and insight are the highest achievements of human effort."~ Carl C Jung

I have been pondering the above quote all week. Interestingly enough, the most important part of the original quote is IMHO missing - "They are found-given by experience."  We are not born with faith, hope, love and insight but we are born with the capacity to achieve them and our success in that achievement (or lack thereof) comes from our life experiences. 

In my case faith is/has been the most difficult to achieve - and is still lacking in my makeup - at least spiritual faith. My issues with religion are still summed up by the U2 tune I shared last week - I still haven't found what I am looking for. Faith in non-spiritual matters is a bit easier to achieve - when I played football I had faith my teammates would do their jobs and we would win games. At work I had faith my co-workers would get their parts in out project done and we would successfully complete the task/project at hand. By the same  token I clearly misplaced my faith in senior management and the company board of directors as the company went bankrupt and thousands of people were let without jobs, myself included.

Hope is something most of us combine with faith - our faith in our ability to complete a task  is what drives our hope that we will accomplish the goal at hand. Interestingly enough, we hope to complete tasks although we may not always expect to be successful. That is driven by our insight into the task. It may be clear not enough time is allotted to accomplish the task, not enough resources, etc. A classic example is from the dying days of RadioShack - my employer of thirty plus years.  

As brick and mortar sales declined regularly over a period of years, there was a clear increase in digital online sales in the industry so a massive, expensive rewrite of the RadioShack website was undertaken. It was driven by contract employees from India and a level of middle management without the necessary experience to accomplish the task in the requisite condensed timeframe necessary to save the company. If you think it is frustrating to get product support from off site support centers in India, imagine trying to get deeply layered verbal instructions on internal programming issues from that type of site. Plus,  bare in mind the folks doing the QC testing were being expected to perform at a technical level they had never experienced  nor been trained for. It is no wonder the project failed and the company folded, leaving only a struggling web business and a small cadre of independently owned brick and mortar stores  - dealers. Clearly senior management lacked the proper insight  to successfully run the company. I specifically recall having a conversation with the VP responsible for our digital business telling me how Amazon and  Jeff Bezos would never be successful or as strong as RadioShack. How'd that work out for you, Dave?

That leaves us with love. Fans of the Beatles believe All You Need is Love. Well - love can indeed make bad situations more bearable and lack of love can certainly make what should be a happy time the exact opposite. But the fact remains, Love works in conjunction with faith, hope and insight.  My favorite song lyric is from a favorite love song of mine -  
In my most secure moments I still can't believe
I'm spending those moments with you
And the ground I am walking, the air that I breathe
Are shared at those moments with you
I'd say the character in the song has achieved love and insight for sure. I know the songwriter - Terry Kirkman - had some struggles in his life that he eventually overcame and along the way achieved faith and hope. If interested, here is the song
Everything That Touches You. Terry also wrote one of the most played songs of all time - Cherish.

So the question remains -are faith, hope, love and insight the highest achievements of human effort? Granted, they are not on the same level as quantum mechanics, but they are all pretty darn high on the list. They absolutely enhance our lives and in many ways make everything else worth living for so I'd have  to say Herr Jung was on to something with his comment.

You can check Ramana's take on the subject here.


  1. Can you hear me clap? A great write up and I am ashamed that I cheated!

    1. Your take was perfectly legitimate - no cheating there.

  2. oh my. getting to know you has turned into an arm chair adventure for me. I don't want to always just agree.
    but I agree with so much of your take on things.
    the pontification of Jung and Freud especially. and others.
    give me John Lennon (and his rather weird lady) anytime.
    if that makes me less intellectual... then they should know I wasn't shooting for that anyway.
    first. I had NO idea of the inner story of Radio Shack. I was shocked I remember when it just seemed to disappear. I am not nor ever was technically inclined. so I didn't follow the rhetoric going on at the time. I just knew it always seemed like such a busy place. and then just GONE? now I understand.
    and thank you for including the link to that song and the background. Cherish was always a favorite of mine too. but I didn't remember Everything That Touches You.
    and dearest Shack
    YES! lol! me too! "For once something besides my waistline was stretched."
    you two boys are good at that. and I appreciate it.
    moreover it's always fun. SH

  3. Tammy I cannot abide by Yoko Ono. Everything That Touches You is definitely an underappreciated classic INHO - along with No Fair at All - written by Jim Yester - I was a huge Association fan. This was a fun topic though I had real trepidation about tackling it as it is so far out of my wheelhouse. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  4. whew. I was being charitable about Yoko. truth is I couldn't even remember her name. and I didn't want to bash her if you thought she was wonderful. not that I'm not entitled to my own opinion. and my opinion is YOURS about her. :)
    oh my. what he saw there was interesting?? !!! love is unexplainable.
    but I think he had a wonderful mind. and a huge talent. and YES. ETTY is or should be a classic for sure. now I must hear No Fair at All.
    thank you!
    and ps...
    I'm afraid I don't worry about my wheelhouse anymore Shack.
    I venture right in wherever angels fear to tread and just enjoy.
    LOLOL! uh oh. there's that maniacal laughter again. :)

  5. I don't worry about it much but my typical blog post takes about 20 minutes - when the wheelhouse is not involved it is much longer. Not that longer is such a bad deal -