No Self Flagellation Needed

Today’s Daily Stoic Meditation outlines how you do not need to punish yourself.

Even if you make mistakes, even if you blunder, you do not need to make it worse with great punishment.

“Philosophy calls for simple living, but not for penance — it’s quite possible to be simple without being crude.”

— SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 5.5

The Need

Whenever something particularly bad occurs, many have the notion to go straight to punishment.

If this is perhaps, a criminal offence, then that idea may be justified.

However, people often seek to punish themselves even for the tiniest things!

No Self Flagellation Needed

Within philosophy, there is no need for self punishment.

Within philosophy, there is no need to hate yourself.

Within philosophy, there is just simple living.

You do not need to punish yourself or others to the point of pain.

Philosophy does not require that — it requires;

  • Kindness
  • Understanding
  • Forgiveness
  • Improvement

Treat People With Kindness

Rather than jumping straight to aggression, anger and punishment, it would be in your best interest to look to kindness.

Rather than punishing someone, treat them with kindness.

Rather than punishing yourself, treat yourself with kindness.

Why?

There’s immense benefits to treating people with kindness over punishing them;

  • Less likely to repeat the negative action
  • More likely to trust you
  • More likely to listen to you
  • More likely to improve going forwards
  • Less labelling
  • Less negative feelings attached

When you treat someone with kindness, they begin to see the good in themselves, even after the mistake.

Rather than, due to labels, seeing themselves as a failure or someone worthless, they see their value and potential.

They can act on that, improve and grow.

How?

There’s a great deal of ways that you can prioritise kindness over punishment.

Ways such as;

  • Uplifting comments
  • Gifts
  • Motivation
  • Smiling
  • Helping out

This regards simply any action that you would consider kind.

Yourself

It is especially important to be kind to yourself.

Do not beat yourself up simply because something went wrong.

Do not give up just because you failed a couple of times.

Be kind, be gentle, and keep going.

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Thoughts, interpretations and insights on the daily meditations featured in Ryan Holiday’s Bestseller, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living.

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Sam M

happiness in all areas of life. student 👨🏻‍🎓. 2 weekly newsletters, daily stoic meditations + occasional articles and book summaries.