“Every place is safe to him who lives with justice.” – Epictetus
We’re not going to try to throw on capes, masks, and move our underwear outside of our clothes before charging into the bad parts of town to deliver some “justice.”
If we apply this idea to our workplace, our social circles, our family lives, and any other community we are a part of, if we treat others with fairness and honesty, we are going to be well protected from anyone trying to harm us.
We can use gossip as an easy example.
If we don’t gossip and go out of our way to only speak positively about others and the work they do, the things they say, and we stay out of it when people start down negative paths, we will be seen differently and will be less likely to be gossiped about. And even if we are gossiped about, most people will already see us as someone who doesn’t engage in that kind of thing and rumors won’t travel very far.
Even if we are someone known for gossiping and always having negative things to say about coworkers, clients, friends, family, etc. We can chose to change that, we can choose to start speaking well about other people and not speaking or engaging when others start down the path of gossip and rumor spreading. We don’t have to – and really shouldn’t – tell other people we are making that choice. Because then each time we fail, it will be encouragement to them to continue doing what they are doing. Instead we can silently make a promise to ourselves not to be like that anymore and watch as the way people see us slowly changes to a more positive perspective.
And if anyone ever asks about why we are no longer the place to get the hot gossip we can shrug and say, “I’m just happier now.” Because we will be.
virtus fortis vocat