Happy Monday, and for many - the last full week of work until next year!
If mind is common to us, then also the reason, whereby we are reasoning beings, is common. If this be so, then also the reason which enjoins what is to be done or left undone is common. If this be so, law also is common; if this be so, we are citizens; if this be so, we are partakers in one constitution; if this be so, the Universe is a kind of Commonwealth. ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations IV:5)
Again, they [the Stoics] hold that the universe is governed by divine will; it is a city or state of which both men and gods are members, and each one of us is a part of this universe from which it is a natural consequence that we should prefer the common advantage to our own. ― Cicero - De Finibus
The Stoic concept of oikeiosis
proposes that a stoic should steadily increase the scope of his concerns to include the wellbeing of not just himself, not just his family, and not just the nation - but all of humanity. They considered this an extension of the foundational motto, “The goal of life is to live in agreement with nature
”, because it is natural for any animal, as it matures, to look towards the preservation of the species. So, too, should we, if we are to mature.
We’ve all experienced this in some way. When I’ve taken customer calls and treated them as not just someone to sell to, but as a person I’m genuinely interested in getting to know, you can see their mood improve. More recently, I decided to put a surplus of ⑴ dollar bills in my car’s center console and I’ve been handing them out to homeless people. It doesn’t negate my annual donation to vetted charities
, but in doing so, I can feel a genuine sense of appreciation in being treated like a fellow human being.
So ask yourself, what is something you can do to treat your fellow humans as if they were citizens of your universal Commonwealth, your brothers, your arms?
Because, at the end of the day:
“If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe.”― Joe Rogan
🍺 to another week ahead!