“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 (Letter 7)
“…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” –Robert Frost from The Road Not Taken
By taking the Stoic path, indeed I am separating myself from a great deal of humankind. Living a philosopher’s life, particularly a Stoic one, is certainly not the latest trend. The reflective life in general, doesn’t seem to match the everyday world around us. In fact, it may seem strange to those you interact with. If you intend to pursue the virtuous life vis-à-vis the Stoics, then keep the following in mind:
- You will be misunderstood by those around you
- You could be led astray by the madness of the masses…their greed, their frivolousness, and their beastly desires
- You might be led from your path by even those closest to you
Seneca addressed this in his letter to Lucilius, from which the quote above was taken. Click here or on the quote to read the full letter. Your friends might even think you are crazy, but this is nothing new: click here, and here. The Stoics might have been ahead of their time, but maybe I can be like them and be a little crazy myself!
You could call it a lonely life, but remember it’s lonely at the top.