"All the great things
are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice,
honor, duty, mercy, hope". Sir Winston Churchill
As evidence of the universal power, wisdom, and value of such virtuous and
Super Powers, please consider these examples of various classical wisdom
traditions. We start with the oldest of Eastern
Wisdom, then Jewish
Ethics, next Christian
Virtues, and Islamic
Ethics. Bringing things up to date is Twelve
Step Super Powers, and into the future is the
Jedi Teachings. Even the Greek philosophers Socrates and Aristotle got into the game with Ancient Greek Super Powers.
There is also a modern version of classical virtues contained in the book Character Strengths and Virtues by Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson that mirrors our list of Super Powers. They attempt to counter balance the disease oriented perspective of much of modern psychology as evidenced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Disorders (DSM) with a positive viewpoint. They list six classes of core virtues and their attending character strengths. For more information, look here.
Over time these one word essential virtues have expanded into a collection of short,
pithy, and very wise slogans, sayings, and mantras. These also cover a variety
of themes, topics, and subjects and are found in the Super
Sayings and Slogans Sanity File. Our founding father took
his favorites and drew them out in big, bold, colorful, and fun lettering on
posters and pinned them up on his studio walls for inspiration and as daily
reminders. It's quite a sight we hope to add here soon.
It is very easy to collect virtues as mental concepts to poster on our walls and be admired rather than using them as touchstones for living a virtuous life, but please remember each of these is the path and the goal, and we are wise to enjoy the journey as much as the destinations. A journey is an appropriate perspective here, as we try to live these virtues everyday, with every step, every thought, every word, and every breath.
Another place where we can see and feel immeasurable and divine power, beauty, wisdom, and love is through music and song. The sound of music seems to directly set the heart, soul, and spirit to soar as the mind takes the strength and story of song to stir and move indirectly, but just as deeply. There is most definitely a super power at work in music and songs. For this reason, we present a list of some of our favorites in the Music and Super Songs Sanity File that help keep us sane and strong amidst the sorrows and adversity of the world.
The history of music illuminates it's power, as it stretches back to ancient times through oral history, predating writing by thousands of years. This became folk music which evolved into the blues, jazz, boogie woogie, and swing. Traditional folk (peoples) music also became gospel, country and western that became rock and roll in the 1950's. Again, this gives us great respect for the ability of music to touch lives everywhere, and in incredibly diverse ways.
Any of us, in fact all of us have innate potential to realize these wise, beautiful, and infinite virtues at any point in life, it's never too early, and it's never too late. Kids giving food to the homeless, selling toys to aid disaster victims, and simply giving a hug when it is needed can be an inspiration to us all. As adults we can take this so much further as we spend our lives in the pursuit of service, kindness, and helping. Parenting is a great opportunity as well, and whether the child is ours or not.
Anyone of us can tune into our Higher
Power to access and gather their favorite and inspiring virtues, sayings,
slogans, songs, books, and whatever else helps them access their own inner
"Super Hero". This may sound crazy, but take a moment to consider a few simple people who
achieved greatness: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, and Mahatma Ghandi. These were peaceful warriors who stood up
to injustice with non-violence, dignity, and yes, Super Power. Each of us could
do the same, and should do the same, as we are able.
It is time for a revolution, a climate change of the heart and minds of all persons, including corporations, to embrace virtues that are fundamental truths that honor the dignity and value of all people, life., and our dear mother earth. We have lived far too long in fear and isolation while unconsciously yearning for union with nature, our Higher Power, inner child, parent, hero, and other internal figures.
advises us that it would not be prudent to "bliss
out" and focus exclusively on the positive aspects of ourselves or the
world, as life is not all sunshine and roses, it has suffering as well.
"positive" principles have a counter-balance. Love, peace, joy, and
beauty are balanced by hate, chaos, sorrow, and ugliness. Some spiritual
considers these negative aspects as illusions, void of substance, so
that only love is real. Yes,
everything is illusion on the ultimate level but pain and suffering are
real on the relative level of daily life.
So we laugh and cry, are inspired and despairing, and so on. This willingness to face difficulties head on is revolutionary in modern society, as most prefer to shy away from problems and chase after comfort and convenience. Loving kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity are definitely virtues, and worthy disciplines to be followed. We like to call them "Super Powers" because through our Higher Power they give us the power to do amazing things.
It begins with a Hero's
Journey to forgive, understand, transform,and love ourselves. Many ways we might
make this change are listed here and in other Sanity Files, but the Twelve
Step Hero's Journey is the one that has been the most helpful for us. Here
we find the hope, help, healing, and happiness together that makes all
The point here, as across all the Sanity Files is to see what resonates for you, and to find your own Super Powers. Considering the incredible, infinite, and awesome power of these simple terms we like to imagine our favorites written thousands of feet high across the horizon. This is a reminder how seemingly small words and ideas can have BIG effects on our lives.
Below are the top twenty individual categories with links to posts for deeper
two is here,
part three is still in the works. Feel free to play around with these to enjoy
and integrate them, and more power to you!