Reading Marcus Aurelius for the rest of your life would not be enough time to spend with the Philosopher Emperor.
His Meditations are his journals, written to remind himself how he wanted to think, behave and lead. It was a daily occupation because, “your mind will take the shape of what you frequently hold in thought.”
As we go into this final weekend of May, remember to purposely fill yourself with the thoughts you value and the ideals you esteem.
There is much in the world to outrage us and even more to distract us from how we ourselves can contribute to a finer, freer, kinder and more just society.
“It is folly to try and escape the faults of others, for it is impossible. Just try to escape your own,” wrote Marcus.
Self coaching or journaling is one of the finest ways I know to focus on creating change in our lives through self-inquiry.
Where have we ourselves failed our fellow citizens?
How have we acquiesced to injustice?
Why have we not always defended the defenseless?
When have we turned away from duty? What more can we ask of ourselves?
Can we rightly hold others to a higher standard and not ourselves?
Even if we do not have the power of a Roman Emperor, we have tremendous power to inform our actions with love, peace and justice by filling our thoughts with those same virtues.