“We need to set our affections on some good man and keep him constantly before our eyes, so that we may live as if he were watching us and do everything as if he saw what we were doing.”
This, my dear Lucilius, is Epicurus’ advice, and in giving it he has given us a guardian and a moral tutor – and not without reason, either: misdeeds are greatly diminished if a witness is always standing near intending doers.
“What Would Jesus Do?” was a phrase that was popular in the ’90s with those of the Christian faith.
The idea behind it was to get the person thinking about their actions as if they were being watch by Jesus.
This is where the above quote by Epricurus and Seneca is similar.
If we had our mentor or one of our heroes looking over our shoulder, would we do what we have done in the past?
Now, I am not talking about stopping us from doing things that are seen as “bad”, what I am talking about is would we be doing the things that are “neutral” if we had someone looking over our shoulder?
If they were watching you, would you say more than “hi” to the person at the checkout?
Would you slow down and let the merging driver into traffic?
Would you be there, instead of thinking about something else when someone talks to you?