April 18, 2014
I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated and a person is humanized or de-humanized.
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse.
If we treat people as they ought to be,
We help them become what they are capable of becoming.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
Often cited as the one of the most brilliant men of his time and the best writer in the German language, Goethe excelled in literature, philosophy and science. Although best known for his seminal poem “Faust,” which tells the story of a man who sells his soul to the devil, Goethe also made significant contributions to the theories of both evolution and the perception of color. He did important work in botany and meteorology while simultaneously heading the Weimar Theatre. Politically conservative in an age of revolution, he was a principal advisor to the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar. Goethe’s effect on early Romanticism and Humanism is hard to overstate. Hesse, Nietzsche, Freud and Jung all cite his influence. His poetry was set to music by Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler, Schumann, Wagner, and Brahms. The botanical park and the Ducal Palace that Goethe helped to design are today a UNESCO World Heritage site.