Jessica Yassen’s Philosophy of Meaning and Value Plan
As a leader in today’s society individuals need to have an understanding and an approach outlined to describe their meanings and values in life. An application plan describes personal experiences and outlooks, philosophies on life, ethical standards, values, along with personal career plans and growth. This paper demonstrates the author Jessica Yassen’s approach to meaning and value along with her application plan. This plan will describe how Jessica Yassen will apply her philosophies guided by theories from philosophers in the traditional era such as Aristotle, modern era such as Descartes to Wittgenstein, and postmodern era such as Derrida, Foucault, and Rorty. This plan will be revised as postmodernism continues to be redefined through the creation of new paradigms in society.
Jessica Yassen’s Philosophy of Meaning and Value Plan
Meaning, significance, importance, value, worth is a debatable issue. Meaning is a quality inherent in something independent of an individual who considers something meaningful. The sections that follow are from the author’s own set of values and meanings. While she attempts to argue her case convincingly she knows that this is all just one point of view and can be discounted as such.
Approach to Meaning and Value
The author’s perspective and value system believes that there is no meaning in unity that has any relevance to the personality. The personality cannot know unity and therefore cannot know the meaning of unity. There is no fixed, inherent meaning in our lives, in creation, in duality. Everything is subject to change, so all meanings will change. The meanings given to things are a complex product of culture, beliefs, personal values, philosophy, realizations, life experiences, habits, and more. Society often uses meaning to construct a coherent narrative of our lives and uses this narrative to give a context for the decisions made according to the values held. The narrative changes as society changes.
When more people seem to share the same narrative or meanings there is a less threat to that narrative or those meanings. In the extreme this can lead to non-engagement with those that do not share the same narrative and exclusion of people who did share the same view but now do not. This develops the accepted shared reality of societies. That concept of meaning and purpose occupy the mind and drive many of our emotional responses such as euphoria to the other extreme of depression. The more negative the emotion, such as anxiety, one tends to originate from a perceived threat to or conflict in what society considers meaningful or purposeful.
Moore and Bunder (2002) stated that Aristotle valued the power of human reason, with the influence of culture, to envision and classify nature and human understanding and to make ethical judgments concerning the good man. The author agrees with Aristotle in the fact that humans are naturally emotional and have an understanding of what is good and what is not. Even if someone does not act ethically, he or she has the ability to listen to reason of what he or she did wrong and why the action is perceived wrong in society.
Leary (1980) described Rene Descartes as having an understanding that philosophy is the study of wisdom where wisdom governs everything in life. Another view from the modern era was that of Ludwig Wittgenstein. Moore and Bruder (2002) stated that Ludwig used analysis philosophy to derive value. The author leans towards Ludwig’s views in the fact that she analyzes everything and believes there is a reason in seeing the true reality.
In the post-modern era, views from Jacque Derrida, Michael Foucault, and Richard Rorty were formed. These postmodernist believe that reason is subjective and that truth is non-existent. They tend to believe what they are told in their social group and are always looking to answer the reason; however, when the answer is found, they challenge the answer. The author believes that those that embrace the postmodern paradigm will be effective based on the fact that they will always be trying to improve themselves, those around them, and the systems they work with always believing that there will be always be room for growth because perfection can not be obtained. They will challenge those that work for or with them to think critically and creatively to do their best.
As a leader, the author realizes that the world is constantly changing and before she can challenge my team to think critically and creatively, they must have an up-to-date knowledge of the business area and world improvements. She would need to assess and address learning needs and evaluate the impact on the team and the company. Learning would need to be work-based such as mentoring, shadowing, and training where appropriate. After the learning opportunities have been addressed, then as a leader, round table discussions with the team will help spark the creative and critical thinking.
The author has experience on how to spark creativity and helping others think critically. Her last manager had team meetings where everyone participated in fun exercises such as using craft items such as buttons, balloons, aluminum foil, ties, marbles, and markers to build the perfect team member. The designs were very creative. Using this type of creative thinking with round table, the author can see system designs taking place through creative interactive thoughts.
Challenging users by offering incentives is also a win-win. An example is where the author’s company implemented a new program where an incentive was to be given for figuring out the best way to implement a new feature needed. A user came up with the best way to effectively program the feature and design to implement. This saved the company about $25,000. The reward was a week of paid time off. Now everyone thinks and knows that there are incentives to do better through creative process such as designing a system to thinking critically such as processes and system impacts.
Personal Philosophy on Life
The author’s personal philosophy on life is to be kind, honest, helpful, truthful, and generous. Her personality is best suited for a profession in information systems. She loves to work with computers and the technologies surrounding computers. Fear, anxiety, and uncertainty are influences that affect new computer users in today’s society.
Ethical Standards and Values
If someone’s personality is able to function in society and permits him or her to reasonably efficiently live and prosper according to his or her own value system then he or she is doing well. When individuals become aware of aspects of the personality that interfere with their ability to realize what they value then they should use personality tools as part of the approach to doing something. If someone operates from a value system that seeks no fixed meanings or purpose he or she will often find such personality tools to be highly effective as there is a greater facility for letting go of the attitudes and habits that are the source of most personality conflicts.
The belief system of the mediator is crucial in their ability to meditate. Some belief systems are not useful and too much identification with self-analysis unconsciously creates its own problems as demonstrated by those who struggle in meditation. Surrender, acceptance, self-love are the context in which the application of personality tools and a moderate amount of self-analysis can facilitate more effective meditation. Meditation can be used to avoid facing the issues that interfere with melting and can help society notice, accept, and work through the same issues. If someone is content and relaxed in life then he or she is probably melting in life and so will melt more completely in meditation.
Future Plans and Ambitions
The author’s career plans and ambitions are determined by several factors. These factors are based on her family, education, resources, and potential growth opportunities in her career path. Her first step is to familiarize herself with various options available. Once she has determined which career option entices her the most, she will find a course to help take her to her goal and determine preparations needed to achieve her goal.
To be effective in her career plan, the author must lay out both long-term and short-term goals. The short-term goals are building blocks towards the larger long-term goal. Some of the short-term goals will include course work, training, and preparation required to achieve the ultimate goal.
As the author grows, she realizes that her goals may change. This will be factored in her decision-making process. Every decision is limited only by what she is capable of now or in the future and her ability to identify alternatives. She will explore alternatives available keeping in mind her core values, commitments, resources, and constraints. Working hard and never underestimating what can be achieved is the author’s motto.
Evolution Growth and Changes
There is no evolution towards some future perfection if there is no universal sole purpose for life. In fact biological evolution, when understood in the way biologists intend, offers a good analogy for the many ways humans can develop and unfold. Biological evolution is not striving to produce the perfect organism. The process of evolution favors the reproduction of organism that is well suited to a particular environment. As the environment changes so will the form best suited to that environment. There is no grand purpose to the changes in the environment and so there are no purposive changes in the organisms induced by that environmental change.
The tendency to find meanings in the phenomena that manifest around us can be seen as a product of evolution. There is a biological advantage in responding to an observed pattern that results in more food, less danger, or other factors. Responding to apparently random or coincidental events as if they were connected is advantageous.
Enlightenment in Life
While there may be no ultimate meaning, purpose, or truth in life, life comes with the wonderful and mysterious gift that enlightenment can be realized. And while realization of this serves no ultimate, the knowledge has profound consequences for the way someone can live in his or her life and how to encounter the process of his or her death. And so there is value and meaning and purpose and truth to be found in helping others realize enlightenment.
As someone who has realized enlightenment, the author choose to spend time helping others to realize the same state in their way because her value system considered this to be profoundly liberating and, within this narrative, gave her pleasure to see others finding that liberation too. This offers a radical and empowering insight and the possibility of resolution of personal and social conflict enabled by the shift of perspective inherent in the state.
Challenging situations or concepts in order to question habitual value systems, let alone engage in the process of changing the situation takes conscious determination and interaction. Indeed, their value system may be very hostile to any process that involves questioning one’s value system. The concept of a hostile enlightened person does not rest easily with value systems that equate enlightenment with perfection of the personality but makes perfect sense if remembered that the personality does not realize the state of enlightenment. Perfection of the personality is not necessary to realizing enlightenment.
Society can still be reasonable at letting go even with value systems that are judgmental or have a personality that struggles to cope with people or life. Enlightenment essentially involves letting go of absolutely everything just for an instant, and does not require that everything is sorted out before let go.
If there is nothing that is more important than anything else, no way of living more meaningful than any other way, then society cannot hide from acting to help our fellow human beings behind statements such as ‘life is meaningless, only transcendence from this world of pain is meaningful’. The notion that this imperfect world is something to escape from may result in toleration of human suffering and dismissal of people who have given their lives to help others as being misguided. This has been used with effect by oppressive religious or political regimes.
Applicable Aspects of Philosophy
Care has to be taken in the expression of values not based on ultimate meanings to individuals who value the concept of there being ultimate meaning. Unless someone has had a strong experience of being in stillness and has had the opportunity to develop a sense of individuality there can be a devastating effect to have his or her sense of personal meaning and purpose deeply questioned. Values of kindness and compassion would restrain the philosophical aggression that would attack another’s beliefs.
If society considers that values are personal and not universal then there is no imperative to inflict someone’s own value system on others. From this perspective there is a balance to be found between meeting someone’s own needs and the needs of those around. At times society must also decide that, according to their values, to tolerate or not the behavior of someone’s acts of violence, abuse, and intolerance for others.
Traditional notions of morality and spirituality are also challenged by value systems. Concepts such as sin and karma have no place if there is nothing inherently wrong or right in any action. This does not mean that the abuse humans inflict on each other should be tolerated or condoned. Society finds that human values consider an action or attitude as being unacceptable and the social consensus of a group of a community that institutes laws to control behaviors that that community decides to not tolerate. Many societies are currently in turmoil because the traditional socially controlling religious values are breaking down with the rise of individualism and liberal tolerance.
The author believes that no action is inherently bad or good. Every action has consequences across the whole of our lives to one extent or another. To act from self-interest and hatred will polarize interactions with life and cause those interactions to be based on self-interest and hatred and a life led in this context is less likely to find contentment.
In order to respond positively to difficult events in life many people use the concept that such difficulties are meant to be and that they offer learning opportunities. There is a sense that their life is heading in a particular direction or to a particular goal and challenging situations are stepping-stones on the way perhaps guided by some universal intelligence. These attitudes help integrate survivable challenges but struggle to withstand lethal situations and seem trite in the face of the worst of human tragedy or abuse.
Many discussions of enlightenment will give the impression that through its realization the truth is known and that there is no mystery left. While the realization of the eternal state of unity that is enlightenment means that in that state there is no mystery, the truth of that state is known absolutely; the utter simplicity of this state can only answer questions that pertain to duality and life with a deep contented wisdom that things are as they are. Society can not reach closure in life nor finish the narrative of everyone’s lives because there is and always will be another perspective, always something unconsidered, or unknown. Only in unity is there such closure since unity has the simplest of narratives that never changes. The joy of enlightenment for the author is to be utterly content that all the meanings she finds in life and the purposes she gives are like ripples in the sand that will be reformed with every wave, allowing a new creative and refreshing response to life.