Written by TKS Toronto Student Ahmed Moselhi (email: ahmedmoselhi7@gmail.com)

“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” — Marcus Aurelius

This is my favourite quote from Marcus Aurelius.

The first thing Marcus taught me.

There doesn’t seem to be any figurative language or metaphors, no hidden meaning or themes, he’s just being straightforward. Right? Well, actually it has one thing: Levels.

You might be asking “what the hell are levels” or “my English teacher didn’t tell me about this.” Well yeah, that makes sense cause I just made it up.

I was looking for the perfect word that helps describe my interpretation of the quote and it just popped into my head so it’s going to stick. But since the way I’m using the word is made up I guess I’m going to have to explain a little.

When I say level, I mean different depths of interpretation. The surface level of interpretation is “Oh It’s talking about a morally good person.” But the more I thought about it, I started seeing it would apply to every part (level) of life, just by switching out the word “man”.

“Waste no more time arguing about what a good — Learner? — Entrepreneur? — Scientist? — Friend? — Father? — is. Be one.”


The quote isn’t just talking about being nice and kind to other. It’s about examining every area of your life. The things you do, your hobbies, your career and your relationships. and just being the BEST.

What’s the best….?

YOU define it. DECIDE FOR YOURSELF WHAT EXACTLY WOULD MAKE YOU A “good (insert here),” don’t wait for people to decide for you. Set your own standards, don’t try to conform to the standard set by society. This doesn’t only spare you the stress of attempting to please others around you, but it helps you set goals you see as achievable.

Let’s take it to another level