Do you make people better?

Whether you’re a leader or a team member, the head of a household or a large company, whether you influence millions through social media or just the families who live on your block or the co-workers who sit next to you, there is a simple test for whether you’re being a good stoic.

It’s this: Do you make people better? Is your company contagious—positively?

“Happy is the man who can make others better,” Seneca said, “not merely when he is in their company, but even when he is in their thoughts!”

Our job as philosophers is not just to improve ourselves. We, by our example, by our words and deeds, should be a kind of torch. We should be illuminating the darkness. We should be highlighting what is right. We should be guiding others. We should be a positive source.

Are you making people better—at work, at home, online? If you are, you will be happy. If you are not, you are wasting your potential as well as your life. If you want to feel good, Marcus Aurelius said, do good.

Better yet, help others do good.

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