Keeping Good Company

“To consort with the crowd is harmful; there is no person who does not make some vice attractive to us, or stamp it upon us, or taint us unconsciously therewith. Certainly, the greater the mob with which we mingle, the greater the danger.”
Seneca

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”
Charles Mackay

Since freeing myself from the chains of Facebook and Twitter, my life has become calmer and my thoughts more focused. While I continue to maintain accounts, I use them strictly for reposting of my writing. I maintain no list of “friends” and have no desire to engage in the senseless voyeurism and self indulgence that these channels promote.

As a social animal, man craves the company and the admiration of others, but this is only the monkey mind seeking attention. Certainly, connection with the tribe is necessary for our physical and emotional wellbeing, however letting the culture and the morals of the tribe dictate my thoughts and actions is equally detrimental, as these are ever changing in response to the dictates of those who use these channels to enrich themselves and enhance their own power and control over others.

As with all things, I am subject to the environments that I live in, be they physical, social or cultural. Being a stoic means striving to live a life of virtue, and equally important, adopting a rational view of the world and using that to make decisions in support of my stoic principles. Just as a fish cannot reject the water that they swim in, so too I cannot isolate myself totally from my environment. However, the wise fish is the one who recognizes that the water has become polluted and swims to cleaner waters, not the one who attempts to fling themselves out of the water to die on the land.

Food for thought…

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