In 2009 I took Communication & Organizational Ethics (COML 503). Fantastic class. One of our required books was The Question of God by Dr. Armand Nicholi. During the study of this book, this was one of the questions posed.
Both Freud and Lewis experienced pain, suffering, loss and disappointment in their adult life; however, their worldviews influenced their perception of these events. How has/does your worldview influence your interpretation of trials/tribulations and victories in life and in the organizational setting – or inverse – How have/do trials/tribulations and victories shape your worldview and your role in organizations?
My worldview – working toward harmony, uniting many scattered pieces, etc. – has influenced my perception of trials and tribulations in that I’m able to see them not as purely negative events. I look upon them as lessons and opportunities to grow and discover more of my inner harmony as well as competence in dealing with the external. Though I do often see many negative aspects to situations – part of the impatient and impulsive aspects of my nature – I usually find myself genuinely asking the question “What am I supposed to get out of this?” This also works in organizational settings because it helps to mediate those impulsive, impatient, self-centered, and overconfident aspects of my nature with my commitment to goals and relationships. It makes me acknowledge my limitations, inspires humility, and helps me to be open to receiving information and different perspectives. And as I believe in karma – that what we do returns to us – I’m able to interpret my behavior through my trials as contributing to my welfare after that point. I see that whatever energy I send out in response to these trials returns and will return to me, so it inspires me to strive toward handling situations in the best manner possible, maintaining dignity, and establishing, renewing, and advancing relationships.
Nicholi, A. M. (2002). The question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud debate God, love, sex, and the meaning of life. New York: Free Press
*For more information on this book:
The Question of God @ PBS. Includes streaming video of the four-hour series (broken up into segments), transcripts, and some background information.