My core virtues, that I use to guide my daily decisions, are courage, compassion, and critical thinking. CCC.
Why not justice as defined by the ancient stoics? Because I believe using justice as a guide to all decisions leads to judgmental and moralistic behavior. That does not mean I will not pursue justice, either for myself or others. However I will not let it be a core guide to my decisions. All too often, “justice” becomes a euphemism for the moralizing enforcement of behavior.
What then is the purpose of my life? My core virtues are the guideposts of my decisions, but not the drivers of them.
Certainly the “pursuit of happiness” or “the secret” appear to me to be the worst paths possible, as they lead to lives of constant disappointment. Even when successes are achieved they are never enough and just reenforce the need for more, while every failure reenforces a feeling of inadequacy. The celebrity life is a mirage.
Purpose then for me is the constant improvement of myself (I), supporting others in their journey (S), and promoting my philosophy (P) for the betterment of the world. There are no fixed rules of how I should do the above or too what limits, other than through the application of my core virtues. To develop rules and guideposts falls into the trap of dogma – “not being a good stoic”.
I will promote my philosophy in three ways: by building awareness of it’s existence (A), by supporting others in their adoption of it – community (C), and finally through my example in my own life (E). Not by setting myself on a pedestal, but rather through living my life and letting others draw their own conclusions as to its applicability to theirs.
Everyone’s circumstances are different. The concerns of a beggar are different than those with wealth, and to define the goals for either is ridiculous. Rather everyone should chart the course that is meaningful for them. Who am I to say that the beggar will not go farther on the path when not encumbered with the baggage of wealth. Likewise, who can foresee what wealth can achieve when it is applied for the greater good and not the promotion of one’s ego.