The Tao of Roark

by Peter Saint-Andre

Chapter 9: Action

Previous: Chapter 8: Choice

The power of action is my ability to create value in the world.

The domains in which I can create value and achieve something good are many and diverse: my work, my family, my health, my character, my friendships, my community, and my avocations are primary among them.

Achievement, too, takes many forms: I create value not only if I am a great innovator but also if I incrementally improve an existing technique, if I add to the stock of human knowledge and culture, if I provide a valuable service, if I raise good children, if I strengthen the bonds of mutual respect in my friendships or community or society, even if I only preserve and maintain the good things that were created by those who came before me; indeed, I can gain or keep value in relation to any object, creation, service, process, relationship, art, science, technique, activity, or field of human endeavor.

Further, the good is almost infinitely variable, because any positive value is good: whatever is useful, pleasant, efficient, competent, skilled, masterful, beautiful, elegant, logical, clear, healthy, clean, helpful, humane, wise, loving, kind, courageous, independent, rational, honorable, respectful, dignified, tasteful, joyous, exuberant, passionate, spontaneous, creative, inventive, intelligent, honest, direct, strong, fearless, free, voluntary, serene, innocent, blameless, or integrated is, all other things being equal, good and valuable.

To love the creation of value is to have a boundless energy, a joyous restlessness, a deep intrinsic motivation — it is to achieve an effortless flow of action, a seamless harmony of work and play, a state in which my own person vanishes into the background because I am supremely immersed in the doing.

Next: Chapter 10: Feeling

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