The Daily Stoic for March 26th. “What rules your ruling reason?”
“How does your ruling reason manage itself? For in that is the key to everything. Whatever else remains, be it in the power of your choice or not, is but a corpse and smoke.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 12.33
What Marcus Aurelius seems to be asking in today’s stoic meditation is “Who watch the watchmen?”. This, applied to our reasoning, means ultimately wondering who we are, and how we became that person.
Our values, opinions, and thoughts are shaped throughout the years, but specially during our childhood. Some people go as far as affirming that our early years define our personality and beliefs.
Never Stop Learning. Never Stop Changing.
I don’t truly believe that. During my life, I’ve taken very different paths, and I’ve been very different persons.
I’ve been a vegetarian for years, and now I am a happy carnivorous.
Yes, I’ve been in the army, serving my country for years, and now I travel the world as a digital nomad and -honestly- I don’t believe in borders, flags and countries anymore.
I’ve also been a programmer, a hacker, a university researcher, an entrepreneur, a composer… I’ve changed my life so many times. Not just from a professional point of view, but also my core beliefs have significantly evolved throughout the years.
What Rules Your Ruling Reason?
As a result, my way of seeing the world, my points of view… my opinions on things, even fundamental things like politics, religion, human rights… none of that has stayed the same for a long time.
And that’s actually a good think.
So, it doesn’t matter if you are a completely different person now. Never regret the past. Never regret who you were.
Because, that person from your past helped you shape the person you are now, and will still influence the person you will become in the future.
Never stop learning. Never stop changing. Don’t be afraid to shake your foundation to the core. The person that will emerge after that process will be wiser.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “What Rules Your Ruling Reason”, discusses the forces that shape who we are, our beliefs, values and reasoning. I think we should never stop changing, and we shouldn’t regret who we were.