Models of excellence

“Imagine for yourself,” said Greek philosopher Epictetus, “a character, a model personality, whose example you determine to follow, in private as well as in public.” No doubt, it’s important to appreciate our unique individuality. Yet having an ideal model of integrity we can look to—one worthy of patterning our behavior and goals after—can be a big help.

It can be pretty easy, though, to choose the wrong models. Often society or social media will offer to do the choosing for us. Some models depict human perfectionism as the ultimate objective. Others portray reckless, careless abandon of oneself and others as a most desirable standard. If we’re not humbly watchful, it can be tempting to adopt a materialistic or self-centered model for ourselves.

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