“Be Kind”

Daily Meditation #134 – 7/6/2022

“Thanks, random rock. I had forgotten from the storefront window painting 5 minutes ago and the sweater of the woman on the tram this morning and the generic Instagram post when I scrolled in bed.”

It’s on mugs.
Notebooks.
Wall art.

“Be Kind” is the platitude of the month (or perhaps last few years).

We certainly should be outwardly kind.
We never truly understand what others are going through, it is true.

But, the sibling to “Be Kind” is usually something like “Be gentle with yourself” or “Be kind to yourself.”

Here’s the issue with that:

Your friends and family — and most of the world — are already kind (or at worst ambivalent) to you.

“Man, I didn’t feel like working out, you know?” you say.
“I completely hear you. You just have to take it easy I get it.”

“Those meetings took it right out of me, let’s just make a frozen pizza,” you tell your spouse.
“I understand, honey. Frozen pizza sounds good.”

“I know money’s tight, but I really want this!” you exclaim.
“Well — you gotta ‘treat yoself!’”

If the world’s already telling you what you want to hear (which they are!), then who the hell’s going to tell it like it is?
Only you can “pick you up by your bootstraps.”

Do you really need another voice soothing you into behaving in a manner inconsistent with making yourself into who you want to be?
To act in a manner where you are moving away from meaning?

Sometimes we get lucky and have a friend who doesn’t let us get away with our bullshit, but mostly, they and everyone else just masturbate us with exactly what we want to hear.

So, we must be our own voice of reason.

You don’t need to go full Gordon Ramsay on yourself (although it’s sometimes necessary), but you need to be the firm voice in the world full of yes-men.

“Wow, rude, inner voice”

And, as we discuss in the book YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing, we should aim to either ask our friends and family to be stern with us, or begin looking to surround ourselves with those who will tell us what we need to hear.

So, be stern and fair with yourself!
Stop fellating your ego with easy and short-term pleasures. Nearly always does taking the path of least resistance, today, result in long-term struggles.

Spend too much, today, and you won’t have enough tomorrow.
Eat too much, today, and you will have more to lose tomorrow.
Don’t nourish relationships, today, and you won’t have relationships tomorrow.

Act — today — in a manner consistent with who you want to be.

Follow for daily philosophical meditations.

These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”

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Lucas A. Davidson

Lucas A. Davidson

Born and raised a Yooper, I write daily philosophical meditations on Eudaimonia. These are distillations from my book on the topic!