by Isabella Pérez Torres, threshold.world disruptor
It is incredibly fun to be present in Society... yet, it can be quite challenging to be present with oneself. The book Manifesto for a Moral Revolution* by Jacqueline Novogratz, given to me by the founders of threshold.world, encouraged me to think about myself, my identity and specifically, how I carry myself throughout the world. Below I have shared some sentences or phrases that made me stop and think twice while reading such an inspiring book.
Being kind takes effort, but it is a low-risk high reward activity. Enabling others to get where you are is an incredibly powerful and humbling experience everyone should have. The opportunities you provide others today are new opportunities that will come your way in the future.
Think of yourself as a bridge extending forward so that others might walk across. (pg.93)
The person or organization with greater power in a particular moment must be the bridge that extends understanding to those with less power. (pg.88)
The identities we carry matter, therefore we must acknowledge them all, even the ones we are not so proud of. Failure to do so prevents us from creating honest connections and from seeing the bigger scope of situations that come your way.
Each of us contains multitudes… According to Maalouf, we each contain a hierarchy of identities” … When one of our identities is attacked, it becomes easy to perceive ourselves only as that identity, for how others see us can have a significant impact on how we see ourselves. (pg.81)
Identity, our own and that of others, is always in the room. (pg.86)
Empathy can go beyond listening, just as fear does not have to be scary. Words have the power we bestow on them. That is why I was so attracted to the author’s definition of fear, think of it as an alarm. A neutral alarm simply identifies danger, it does not mean you are in danger; therefore, you can tend to it with as much ease as hitting the snooze button in the morning alarm. With Empathy we should always go beyond, everyone has a unique way of thinking, as a result it will always be an eye-opening challenge to practice moral imagination. The more empathy you practice, the more perspectives of life you gain. A simple example is that I broke my right foot last August, and till that day I had never put myself in the shoes of disabled college students trying to get around campus. This experience that could have made me sad and bitter, opened a new perspective for me and now whenever I am in a room designing something new, I advocate for a bigger group of people with the broader perspective I acquired by physically being placed in someone else's shoes. Now imagine if we simply did this out of habit, we would have a much more compassionate world.
True listening is more than the act of hearing another's words. It is the unspoken recognition of our shared community. (pg.64)
Moral Imagination means to view other people's problems as if they were your own, and to begin to discern how to tackle those problems. (pg.43)
Think of fear not as a bad thing but simply as a mechanism to alert you to emotional or physical danger. (pg.101)
Everything in life comes with a choice, that binary decision we make determines the output of the scenario. We can always choose to see the good or choose to see the bad. Which one do you think will have a better outcome? When we focus on the positive, we attract good thoughts, ideas, and practices into our life. Choose to search for the good!
Change involves risk, and risk, which is not the same as recklessness, requires courage. (pg.101)
The psychiatrist and holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl wrote “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom” The narratives we choose to tell ourselves and others can be extremely consequential, steering us toward roads of despair or pathways to freedom. The choice is ours to make.” (pg.207)Stories matter for they have consequences. (pg.204)
I would recommend everyone, no matter your role, age, or experience, read Manifesto for a Moral Revolution. I believe the insights this book gives you are truly timeless. It will remind you to leverage your voice and talents to pave a clear path for those next to come. Every day we must consciously make decisions out of love and be able to discern when fear is manipulating our thoughts and actions. As a proud 20-year-old disruptor at threshold, I believe the company and b.world are the product of love & hard work, hopefully the planet lasts long enough for us to see b.world grow up, and for me to keep creating good, no matter where I am.
*Novogratz, Jacqueline. Manifesto for a Moral Revolution: Ideas You Can Use to Change the World. Holt & Company, Henry, 2020.