Why everyone needs a Cato

“The soul should have someone it can respect, by whose example it can make its inner sanctum more inviolable. Happy is the person who can improve others, not only when present, but even in their thoughts.” – Seneca

If you are like me, when you hear the name Cato, you think of the Pink Panther’s trusted sidekick, or perhaps you are more learned and think of Cato the Younger, the Roman politician best know for his self-discipline and heroic defence of the Republic against Julias Ceasar.

What’s unusual and noteworthy about him was that unlike the other Stoic philosopher’s he didn’t write anything down, taught no classes and was not a great orator. It was his actions that left his legacy.

Much like many mothers. It’s Mother’s Day here in the UK today and as I was reading my daily Stoic meditations from the App, I came across this one about the need to find yourself a Cato – “a great and noble person we can allow into our minds and use to guide our actions even when they are not physically present,”

My mother came to mind for me. She was and still is my Cato.

She died about five years ago, aged only 63, but still influences my behaviours and decisions.

In times of reflection I find myself asking, what would she have done. When I have behaved less than ideally I find she stands witness to my behaviour and quietly and calmly admonishes me and challenges me to do better next time.

She went about her life, quietly and unassumingly, and at the same time having a profound and lasting effect on many people. It was her actions that left her enduring legacy.

I’m pleased to say I’ve found another Cato, someone whose words I can actually hear and whose opinion I seek daily. She is also a mother and a step mother.

Who is your Cato? Who guides you and holds you to account even though they may not be present?

I hope many of you have a Cato and I’m willing to bet a great many of them will be mothers. As special and amazing to each of you, as mine was to me.

Happy Mother’s Day to mother’s the world over.

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Anthony Taylor | Coach, Speaker, Trainer, Writer | Mobile: 07771 892479 | Email: anthony@anthonytaylorltd.com