The Daily Stoic for July 13th. “A Leader Leads”.
“One person, on doing well by others, immediately accounts the expected favor in return. Another is not so quick, but still considers the person a debtor and knows the favor. A third kind of person acts as if not conscious of the deed, rather like a vine producing a cluster of grapes without making further demands, like a horse after its race, or a dog after its walk, or a bee after making its honey. Such a person, having done a good deed, won’t go shouting from rooftops but simply moves on to the next deed just like the vine produces another bunch of grapes in the right season.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 5.6
If you have been following my daily stoic posts, you know I’m not too keen on today’s stoic meditation. During most of my adult lifetime, I’ve been following Marcus Aurelius words here.
They haven’t brought me a good return of investment.
A Leader Leads
Of course, being a good person, and doing good deeds, is not about results, or getting something in reward.
However, where I’m from, we have a saying: “no good deed goes without its punishment“. That’s what I learned when I published my music under creative common licenses… The result was, a lot of people using my music for commercial purposes, for transmitting messages I was not OK with -like gun ownership propaganda or religious messages- or for any other things that only brought me sadness.
This is just a little example, but it has consistently repeated every time I’ve been the good guy. And the problem is, sometimes you invest a lot of time and effort on stuff that only benefits others, and brings you more problems that satisfactions.
Have I given up? Not yet. I still feel pleasure for the mere act of helping others… But nowadays I try to prioritize things that would bring me happiness. If they help others, that’s amazing too.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “A Leader Leads”, discusses again the concept of good deeds, and how, just as the leader leads, we should give an example with our actions.