1. What is Bentoism?
What is Bentoism? Bentoism helps individuals and organizations create self-coherence. It is a guide to our true self-interest.
A common symbol of self-interest today is the “hockey stick” graph. A chart where whatever we want (money, power, influence) is growing so fast the line goes up and to the right. This, we think, is life’s best-case scenario.
But this idea of success is just a sliver of what’s out there. When we take a step back, the bigger picture starts to emerge.
Our self-interest doesn’t stop with us right now. It extends in both directions.
The X-axis of time extends from now into the future. And the Y-axis of our self-interest goes from me to us. As our self-interest grows, so do our responsibilities.
This wider view of our self-interest includes what we want right now. But other rational perspectives are here too. Our future selves. The people we care about. The future of our children and everybody else’s children too.
Each of these spaces impacts us and is impacted by us. They are all in our true self-interest.
This is a Bentoist way of seeing self-interest. Bento as in the bento box, the Japanese packed meal. The word “bento” derives from a Japanese word meaning convenience.
A bento always has a variety of dishes. Never too much of one thing. A bento box is a convenient, healthy, and balanced meal. It honors the Japanese eating philosophy of hara hachi bu, which says the goal of a meal is to be 80% full. That way you’re still hungry for tomorrow.
Bentoism is a bento box for our values and decisions. A convenient way to make healthy and balanced choices, and to live a more self-coherent life.