July 11

“The philosopher may own ample wealth, but will not own wealth that has been torn from another, or which is stained with another’s blood.” – Seneca

 

While there are still plenty of opportunities for us to avoid products and attainment of wealth that is actually marred by violent conflict, slave labor, and the exploitation of others, simply avoiding these products is not going to take us far in making us into the best versions of ourselves. In fact, we are far more likely to become caught up in the self righteous virtue signalling that comes with avoiding products or businesses on ethical grounds and miss the opportunity to grow as people if we select only this route.

Instead we should look to our day to day interactions with others and ask ourselves honestly, are we getting an unfair advantage by misleading or being disingenuous with our friends, coworkers, or family?  If the answer to that question is ever yes, we should actively work on removing that behavior from our routine as quickly and effectively as possible. Removing the root of our desire to gain some small advantage over our the people around us without regard to the cost to those same people is what makes us into better people. We do that by focusing on the small things we do every day, often subconsciously.

Yes we should avoid products made inexpensive through exploitation, or ones obtained through violent conflict but more importantly to our own well being, we should avoid exhibiting the behavior that makes these vile things possible to begin with.

virtus fortis vocat

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