Servants to the public

SenecaIt is difficult to be true in politics. All the pressure, all the interests that is vested in your person and what you do. Lobbyism or journalism is always there to try set their agenda, not your agenda. True friendship is very, very rare, and almost no one is clean.

This is truly the root cause of the problem in the West. We have lost our dignity and virtue, and is prone to accept things, if there is a pay check at the other end.

So what do we really do to counter this lure of democracy, the weakness of democracy?

I am reading Senece these days, I stumbled upon him yesterday in a free public library. He is this old and wise Roman praetor and consule.

In his work “On peace of mind”, he has a lot of good advice. First of all, we have to see it for what it is. All the people who wants something from us, they are in their business. It is not that they are not good for something, but we have to be realistic about their aims and their background.

But they are incredibly annoying, and therefor we need to able to have peace somewhere. Seneca talks about a simple place in the countryside, where he can redraw to, and find his peace of mind again. Then he talks about elation in opposition to gloom and doom. He says, that peace of mind is in the middle. To keep away from too much ravening, and too much depression.

This is a stoic idea, that is an idea that originally came from Zeno, a Phoenician, and should be seen in this context. It is not a truly original Roman idea, but actually from one of its competitors. Rome has always been good at taking in new ideas and make it its own.

Anyway, virtue, that is really at the core of this discussion, is what it is about. We have to be honest and simple in what we do. Listen to the public, and try and understand their needs.

If we live a simple live, we are not as prone to be lured into the fallacy of materialism. We are not as easily seduced by money or flatter, but can continue being what it is all about; being servants to the public.

G-d bless the will to be simple and honest in the face of seduction and too much fuss.

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