The Daily Stoic for May 31st, “We Have But One Obligation”.

“What is your vocation? To be a good person.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 11.5

The Stoics believed, above all else, that our job on this earth is to be a good human being. Obviously, all philosophies and religions teach that.

The problem comes in the definition of “good person”.

Every religion has a different, sometimes conflicting definition of the term. My sister is a very Catholic person because she married a Catholic man. Once, they told me that I could not have any moral because that’s something that comes from God. So in their view, I was probably a “bad” person or, if I was a good person sometimes, it was due to chance and not because I was truly a moral, religious guy.

Obviously, no religion or philosophy believes they are wrong, or their definition of good or evil is wrong. So who’s right? Buddha? Jesus? Aristotle? Mahoma? Descartes? Kant? Gita?

Well, in my opinion, none of them and, in a way, all of them.

We Have But One Obligation

It’s much more simple than that if you ask me.

I do agree that we need to be a good person. Not that it’s an obligation or anything, but I think your life is simpler and happier when you do.

Don’t you feel better about yourself when you do a good deed? Even a small gesture makes the day brighter.

So what’s being a good person? In my opinion, it’s all about feeling happy yourself first and then helping others feel happy too. Doing good stuff now and then, for random strangers, without expecting anything in return. Understanding there are different opinions, cultures, and people and trying to respect them.

Well, seems easy in theory, but takes some practice 🙂

Conclusion

Today’s Daily Stoic, “We Have But One Obligation”, affirms that our job on earth is to be good human beings. Given that every religion and philosophy have their own take of what’s “a good person” (sometimes conflicting between each other), in my opinion it’s just a matter of living happily and making others feel happy every day.

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