Two pieces from "Maslow: The 12 Characteristics of a Self-Actualized Person" by David Sze
Self-actualizing people have the wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naïvely, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy, however stale these experiences may have become to others.
Thus for such a person, any sunset may be as beautiful as the first one, any flower may be of breath-taking loveliness, even after he has seen a million flowers. For such people, even the casual workaday, moment-to-moment business of living can be thrilling.
Self-actualized people resist enculturation. They do not allow themselves to be passively molded by culture — they deliberate and make their own decisions, selecting what they see as good, and rejecting what they see as bad. They neither accept all, like a sheep, nor reject all, like the average rebel.
Self-actualized people make up their own minds, come to their own decisions, are self-starters, are responsible for themselves and their own destinies. Too many people do not make up their own minds, but have their minds made up for them by salesmen, advertisers, parents, propagandists, TV, newspapers and so on.
Because of their self-decision, self-actualized people have codes of ethics that are individualized and autonomous rather than being dictated by society.
They are the most ethical of people even though their ethics are not necessarily the same as those of the people around them because the ordinary ethical behavior of the average person is largely conventional behavior rather than truly ethical behavior.
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