“The mould of a man’s fortune is in his own hands.”
— Francis Bacon
Sir Francis Bacon, a 16th century Renaissance thinker, was a show-me-the-evidence empiricist. His philosophic and scientific explorations shaped the foundation of modern-day inductive reasoning.
Bacon’s quote on a man’s fortune is an insightful statement that connects his scientific and intuitive mind. He believed that we are each the capable craftsman of our life mould. Our hands – the daily laboring of thought and action – continually define how our mould will shape our experiences as well as how we are observed by others. Clearly, Bacon knew that every person’s mould revealed the evidence of the moulder. Penetrating the unstated message of his words, Bacon informed us of timeless wisdom; namely, every individual who understands the purposeful power of their choice making has the potential of exercising immense influence for good.
Four-hundred years down the road of human history, we see a different world than Bacon’s. In the 21st century we are empiricists bombarded with information coming at us 24-7. Our filter for positive choice making often seems blurred, gray or nonexistent. We wonder who holds the choices that influences our daily lives. Are my choice-making hands clearly in charge of shaping the mould of my daily living? Are there other hands grabbing hold instead – the government, luck, ethnicity, parental upbringing, entitlements that seemingly steal away the belief in the power of the choice-making hands? Do we succumb to the deadening belief that we are inconsequential, inadequate, unprepared and worse case, victimized, afraid to take on the noble task of shaping a positive future?
Did you read the previous paragraph of prose thinking: "Well, that’s not me, so no need to read further!" Yes, be momentarily grateful that your choice-making hands remain firmly on your mould. But, don’t be smug with your gratitude. Rather, assume that you have some important influence work to do for our society – at home, at your work or in your community. Know that you have the mentoring influence to remind someone: Place your hands on the mould.
Mission Integrity Action
Be the engaged empiricist who becomes the keen, clear voice of encouragement to someone in your sphere of influence who you see, feel or know does not have his or her hands on the mould. Your voice matters to that someone, who is among millions of American adults, with or without a job, who think with the diminished belief that circumstances control them. Your mentoring voice of encouragement will be a timely and valued experience to someone this week.
Passkeys Foundation/Ethical Edge ethicaledge.org