This is one of the most profound single sentences ever uttered. It is from Konosuke Matsushita:

"The untrapped mind is open enough to see many possibilities, humble enough to learn from anyone and anything, forbearing enough to forgive all, perceptive enough to see things as they really are, and reasonable enough to judge their true value."

There are five values in this forty word sentence that work towards an untrapped mind. You could spend a lifetime learning each of these values and incorporating these into your life and it would be well worth the effort. Just think what it would mean to you, to your family, to your place of employment or to your community if these values were at the heart of your life.

Let's take a look at each one:

HUMILITY: Humility is recognizing that we are no greater or less than any other creature. Whether we are leading or following depends on which way we are facing in the circle. The humble know the same is true of teaching and learning and they accept both roles with equal deference.

FORBEARING: Another word for forbearance is tolerance. Tolerance is closely related to humility in that it acknowledges that we all make mistakes. You want to be just as quick to overlook the mistakes of others as you are to have others overlook yours.

FORGIVENESS: When someone commits an egregious error against you, do you allow the light of forgiveness to shine - or do you allow the pain to fester? I like what Samuel Clements said about this, "Forgiveness is like the scent of a rose left behind on the heel of the foot that has crushed it." Lack of forgiveness traps the mind in negative and harmful energy. This energy is corrosive and damaging.

PERCEPTIVE: One of the hardest things for man to do is NOT form an opinion about people, places, events or anything else. Even if we know the nature of something it is not until we know how it relates to all other things that we learn wisdom. We must have all the information we can get before we take the things we have perceived and reason upon them.

REASONABLE: Determining true value can be tricky because our reason can be short-sighted and stop once we see that (insert person, place, thing or event here) benefits us here and now without seeing the possible long-term effects. For instance overeating, over spending and excessive drinking may provide joy in the short term but have deleterious effects in the long run. If our reason is short-sighted in its scope and we fail to perceive far enough, then our reason is limited. Sometimes to our detriment.

You may have noticed how each value seems to hinge on the one before it. This is one of the reasons the quote of Konosuke Matsushita is so profound. How far can this quote take you in your self-development? In your career? In your relationships? For Mr. Matsushita this philosophy has taken him to the head of one of the largest electronics corporations in the world, Panasonic including all its subsidiaries.

How you get this to be a part of your life is different for each person, but the pursuit of such a life is in the best interest of everyone!

Author's Bio: 

Ralph P. Brown is a Mohawk Indian of the Akwesasne tribe. He is a self-taught artist who draws inspiration from his native culture, nature and his unique perspective on the world and his spirituality. He is the author of soon-to-be-released "Awakening the Eagle: A Guide to the Medicine Wheel" and "13 Virtues to a New Life: A Journey Around the Medicine Wheel." Visit his web site at for additional insight, stories, lessons and visual creations.