The Ideaspace

Interviews, essays, and research exploring the frontiers of what's valuable and in our self-interest

Why I am a Bentoist

I am a Bentoist.

I use the bento to expand and activate my self-awareness.

I love the bento because it’s so simple. It’s always available and easy to access. It helps me make decisions both big and small. I’m living my most filled and expansive life thanks to my bento.

BENTO is short for BEyond Near Term Orientation. A new way to define our self-interest:

“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.” —

I have a master bento that’s my compass for making decisions. I make a weekly Bento every Sunday to map out the week ahead. I use my bento to guide my time and attention. I’m often surprised by what I write down.

The more I refer to my bento, the more coherent I am at all levels of my life. What I need now, what I need in the future, what my collective ‘us’ needs now and what the future collective ‘us’ needs. It feels good to tend to all aspects of myself. My bento keeps me aligned and accountable.

This is why I am a Bentoist.

— JK, Bento Society member