To Be Good, First Do This

There is an intriguing line from Epictetus that seems almost Christian: “If you wish to be good, first believe that you are bad.” What does it mean? It’s not unlike the first step in recovery from addiction—we’ve got to admit and accept we have a problem. Only then will we have the humility and unflinching realism required to do the work to change and improve. However hard that acceptance might be, nothing positive can occur without it.

Today, let’s have one task: to take an honest good look and see where our behavior falls short. If you need a starting point, think about your interactions with other people in your life. Are you kind, patient and empathetic? Start working on that and the rest will follow.