The Daily Stoic for October 4th, “All For One, One For All”.

“That which isn’t good for the hive, isn’t good for the bee.”

—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 6.54

Apparently, Marcus Aurelius was one of the first writers to articulate that he has not a citizen of Rome, but of the whole world. Due to the fact that he -as an emperor- probably traveled a lot, means he was one of the very first digital nomads? 🙂

Just joking. But there’s an important teaching here of stoicism that I would like to talk about. The fact that we are all part of a whole community, interconnected with it. That can be understood in several ways.

All For One, One For All

I’m not referring here to any economic, financial or socialist interpretation. I have defended before the fact that digital nomads, for example, should not  pay taxes if they are not permanent residents of any country, or are not using any country social services. That would be an hipocresy on my part.

I’m not referring here to anything “religious”, “mystical” or “new-agey”. I never believed in those things.

However, I believe in what stoics called sympatheia. When you see someone doing something good for someone else, you immediately feel an optimism boost -at least I do- and are more willing to do something good yourself for somebody. And you will feel better.

If we take that to scale, thinking globally but acting locally, I’m sure we all benefit from that. Ok, the world is full of jerks. Probably there are lots of people who don’t give a shit about the rest, or actively try to hurt them.

But if we act the other way around, we’ll be adding our 2 cents to balance the equation in the right direction. So why don’t we all start today? 

Conclusion

Today’s Daily Stoic, “All For One, One For All”, discusses the concept of sympatheia, that stoics coined to refer to being part of a whole community, and conducting our behavior and actions so they benefit the whole instead of just us.

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