October 9, 2021
In ancient Greece, a philosopher named Aristippus attained a favored position in the court of King Dionysus. He achieved this status through the constant flattery of the King.
Aristippus constantly compared himself to Diogenes, a fellow philosopher. He once saw Diogenes eating a very simple meal of lentils and couldn’t help saying, “If you’d only learn to flatter the king, you wouldn’t have to eat lentils.”
To which Diogenes wittily replied, “If only you would learn to live on lentils, you wouldn’t have to flatter the king or anyone else.”
This parable serves as a good reminder not to get sucked into a FOMO(Fear of missing out) mindset. Social media and society tend to give us subtle messages that we aren’t enough. Not beautiful enough, not fit enough, not successful enough, not wealthy enough, etc. Unwittingly, we fall into this trap of benchmarking our success with what others do. As a result, we get sucked into the rat race, losing ourselves in the process.
Live by your own values and rules. You don’t have to follow anyone. There is eternal wisdom in this idea.