#110 – Pursue what is profitable (Το συμφερον θηρω)

This Maxim could, in my opinion, be equally well translated as “Pursue what is beneficial”. Our society, however, has tended to bias our perceptions of ‘profit’ as being primarily about money, but I believe this particular Maxim is about far more than mere money. “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, but lose his soul?” is a quote from the Christian Bible that illustrates this point.
Our focus must be on what is beneficial not just to ourselves but to our societies as well. We must pursue the honorable, the excellent, and the kind in our pursuit of the “profitable” for otherwise we lose sight of the things that make the pursuit worthwhile. To profit at the expense of others demeans both them and our spirits. One of the other Maxims tells us to “Acquire wealth justly” and it would not if the pursuit of profit was only about money. Justice profits us. Harmony profits us. The struggle for arête profits us greatly. Yet none of these are about money, nor are they things that money can truly be used to gain.
If we are to follow the message of this Maxim, we MUST learn what is truly profitable. Only then can we hope to attain the goal which the Gods have set before us.

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