Recently I read Nobility of Spirit – A Forgotten Ideal by Rob Riemen for one of my MBA classes at the University of Nevada Reno. Our class is based on humanities and culture and how it can relate to leadership. I wanted to share my essay about how his book and theory of Nobility of Spirit is tied to mindfulness.
Nobility of Spirit by Rob Riemen is described as the essence of human dignity. When I first read the title of the book, the words that came to mind were, ‘aspiration of conscious being.’ Throughout the essays the quote that I resonated with the most was by Thomas Mann, “Grab hold of time! Use it! Be mindful of every day, every hour! If you are not careful, time can slip away far too easily and quickly.”
I identified deeply with Nobility of Spirit and the stories and analogies that promote and protect culture. Riemen wrote, “Truth is the absolute standard by which the level of human dignity is to be measured.” Truth leads individuals to reflect on who we are right now, where we have been, and where we are going. In this lies what we know and what we want. Knowledge and education will always guide us to pay attention in the now and to follow our truths.
The following is Rob Riemen’s answer from bigthink.com to, what is Nobility of Spirit?
“Without cultivation of the human soul through liberal education; through knowing big ideas, the real values; it’s this protest of homecoming to our better self.”
For me this related to mindful leadership. Mindfulness embodies moment-to-moment awareness. As leaders we can promote positivity and consciously choose to put truth and freedom above power and violence. Other mindful qualities that connect with nobility of spirit are:
- Being Present – aware of what you are experiencing in the present moment
- Open-Minded – allow yourself to experience new ideas other than your own experiences and beliefs
- Non-Judging – accept what arises with a non-judging attitude to people and surroundings
- Acceptance – do not force or try and change reality
- Non- Attachment – do not hold onto experiences and let life happen
- Equanimity – be emotionally stable with good and bad situations
- Compassion – be gentle, patient, and kind with yourself and others
Ultimately it comes down to truth within ourselves. I agree with Riemen that you must have truth to have freedom. With knowledge and insights we can face reality and live the way we believe to be appropriate. However, each and every person within our civilization has different expectations and values as to the definition of truth and freedom. This can create conflict within cultures.
My definition of truth is knowing who I am , knowing who I am becoming, and being transparent in the process. This takes being honest with yourself, learning from your mistakes, and letting go of past situations. I continually educate myself on facing my fears and engaging in a hopeful vision of human rights.
The nobility of spirit principle that Riemen discusses can be applied individually, but could lead to hostility if you try and influence a country’s culture. The American culture is a society made up of an individualistic people where power is at the forefront. I believe that the human experience is each person’s individual approach to life. We all have different morals, values, and beliefs that shape us. The American culture allows all of us to be different and to define our own truths and freedoms not only from humanities, but many other disciplines.
This is a great book that gets you thinking. If you have read Nobility of Spirit what were your thoughts on the book and how it might relate back to mindfulness?