#96 – Benefit yourself (Σεαυτον ευ ποιει)

This is an interesting Maxim in that it is easy to interpret as being to benefit at the expense of others. I think that the Oracle would have a different spin on it however. Yes, we are to do things that will benefit ourselves, but in the sense of self-improvement instead of self-importance. This is an important distinction to make as our society is one that will often have us confusing, or even conflating, the two.
This is the Maxim where we see the “good” Eris coming into play, because without her we would see no reason to work hard to improve ourselves to our benefit. We see here the desire for that self-improvement and the effort to achieve it. In many ways, this Maxim (in its ideal form) illustrates the oppositeto hubris because we see that we can always improve. This is the Maxim for the student and the worker to keep always in mind as they try to benefit themselves through their actions.
It is a hard Maxim to apply effort to, because we tend to want to take the quick and easy path – despite warnings that path leads ultimately to failure and suffering. And if we suffer briefly in the present for the sake of the future, I hold that it is better than that quick path as it ultimately benefits yourself more.

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