“I will be agreeable with my friends, gentle and mild with my foes: I will grant pardon before it is asked, I will meet the wishes of honorable men halfway.” – Seneca
Other people remain firmly on the list of things we can not control. Their actions, their words, their thoughts, and their reactions to the world around them lie entirely within their own control. Whether they choose to employ that self control is also entirely up to them.
The one thing we can control that may affect the way they think about, speak about, and act towards us is how we treat them. How we interact with others doesn’t just tell them how they should feel about us, it also tells us how we are coming along on the path to becoming the best versions of ourselves.
The best version of ourselves doesn’t compare ourselves to our friends. the best version of ourselves is above treating our rivals and enemies the same way they treat us. The best version of us assumes the best of people and forgives them immediately when they act unpleasantly towards us. The best version of ourselves is accommodating and helpful and willing to compromise with everyone to reach the best results in any situation.
Most importantly, the best version of ourselves doesn’t just happen. That person is the product of our daily practices. We build that person slowly out of the product of the many tiny decisions we make about how we act every single day.
And while that person may never fully arrive, we should be a little closer to them every day.
virtus fortis vocat