The theme for day five of Stoic Week is community. Stoicism isn’t just about looking inwards and self-development, it’s also about our place in society. Today’s texts focus on our shared humanity.
“The fact of their common humanity means that one person should feel another to be his relative.”
Cicero, On Ends, 3.62-3
It’s too easy right now to look at what’s happening in the world and only see hate. For many that can become paralyzing. For me it makes it even more important to remember that we’re all human. To see what we have in common rather than what divides us. To try even harder to fill our immediate lives with kindness. Who knows, maybe if enough of us can do that the world won’t feel so full of hate any more?
“As Antoninus, my city and fatherland is Rome, as a human being it is the universe. It is only what benefits these cities which is good for me.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 6.44
The quote above, taken from the evening text for reflection, reminds me that it’s not only the people that make up our communities but the environment too.
It also acts as a reminder that we’re in this together. If we can contribute something to our communities that benefits the community as a whole, then as individuals we will also benefit.
And if you think you have nothing to contribute, perhaps keep in mind these words from Seth Godin’s post What will you do with your surplus?
“If you’re not drowning, you’re a lifeguard”
Image by Nina Strehl on Unsplash.