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In this ninth episode of the Wisdom for Life radio show, hosts Dan Hayes and Greg Sadler
examine a common image of concentric circles used to understand relationships with other people towards whom we might have affection, care, or moral obligations. The smallest circle is that of close friends and family, while the largest extends to all humanity, and potentially beyond.
They discuss how differing philosophical and wisdom traditions, including Stoicism, Buddhism, and Utilitarianism have used this image, and developed practices designed to help us develop attitudes of justice and benevolence towards other beyond the circles we most typically focus upon.
They also examine a common issue that arises when considering circles of community – to what extent should a person focus on their nation or political community as the most important? Should their focus instead be on all people, or on people closer to them?
They end the show by introducing a very helpful philosophical practice derived from several schools of Buddhism, Metta or “loving-kindness” meditation, which employs the conception of circles.
Show Music is by Scott Tarulli