“The person who does wrong, does wrong to themselves. The unjust person is unjust to themselves — making themselves evil.”MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 9.4
Doing wrong hurts others — but it also hurts the wrongdoer, and maybe even more. That’s the wisdom in today’s chapter of The Daily Stoic.
When you do wrong, it corrupts your soul, poisons it. You’ve introduced the opposite of truth and virtue into the innermost parts of your being.
And your soul knows this, and reacts accordingly. As author Ryan Holiday points out, doing the wrong thing is likely to make you physically sick. It’s a representation of what your soul knows deep down — that you’ve betrayed it, sold it down the river. You won’t be able to look yourself in the mirror at that point.
Holiday also says that “self-awareness and wrongdoing rarely go together”. He’s right! If you’re focused on your own self-awareness and personal growth, it’s going to be hard for you to do wrong by others.
So do the right thing instead. Be good for your own sake, for the sake of your soul.