The Daily Stoic for August 24th, “Pillage From All Sources”.
“I’ll never be ashamed to quote a bad writer with a good saying.”
—SENECA, ON TRANQUILITY OF MIND, 11.8
My parents were really open-minded when it came to how my sister and I developed our beliefs and values during our childhood and teenage years. Not really being very religious people, they didn’t try to impose their points of view upon us.
That’s why my sister and I took radically different paths in that sense. While I am an atheist, she is a firm Catholic.
Pillage From All Sources
Some years ago, when she was just about to get married, we have a discussion about morality and values. Her position back then was that, as I was an atheist, Y had no morality, because morality ultimately came from religion, concretely Catholic religion. Being an atheist meant I was not able tell good from evil, or make moral choices because I had no guide on my acts or beliefs.
Needless to say, I couldn’t agree, and we had a curious discussion about the topic. That conversation made me realize that any religion, philosophy, or belief can isolate you from others, making you think that they are the “right source of wisdom“. No matter how open your education or your background is.
That’s when I decided I will never adhere to any specific school of thought alone. There’s wisdom on most of them, so instead of labeling yourself as a “stoic”, or “Catholic”, or “liberal”, just take what’s good from all of them and create your own values. Of course, you will be acting by a moral guide, your moral guide. And it’s as valid as anything that’s written in any other book, or claimed by any other person.
Hence, I completely agree with today’s stoic meditation. There’s wisdom everywhere, so don’t close your mind to the small truths contained here and there.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Pillage From All Sources”, encourages us to not close our minds into a concrete school of thought and, instead, embrace wisdom wherever we find it.