August 22

“No good thing is pleasant to possess, without friends to share it.” – Seneca

The fact that it is lonely at the top should be enough encouragement for most of us to avoid that path. When developing our versions of the best person we could become, most of us would choose to become a person who has enough and a well knit social circle to share it with over becoming a person with a lot and many superficial relationships.

We should not allow the pursuit of becoming a person with nice stuff to get in the way of the pursuit of the stuff that allows us to become a nice person. Because when we think of the person we want to become, for most of us being kinder, more friendly, and more social rank higher than being wealthier.

As it should be. A study of the longest living communities found that social engagement was one of the key predictors of longevity. Wealth didn’t rank at all. Though stress reduction did and it makes sense to understand that having our needs met is an important stress reducer. So some wealth is necessary.

But it shouldn’t be the goal. Our goal should be to strengthen and develop our relationships, become the people we would want to admire, and as we gain wisdom we should be sharing it with others.

virtus fortis vocat

 

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