The first principle we listed in the 10 Principles For The Electronic Music Industry is “Be Good, Do Good” and it is first for a reason: because without it, we wouldn’t be able to build, foster, and nurture our community.
The main cornerstone of Stoic philosophy is deeply founded on the understanding that one must sculpt one’s own character for the purpose of living what the Stoic founder, Zeno of Citium, referred to as the “good life”. It is to be noted that by “good” he didn’t mean nice or pleasurable. What he meant was the achievement of a life worthy of being lived (the obtaining of what the ancient Greeks called eudaimonia). Such life would be worthy because, through reason, your actions and decisions would be taken courageously, justly, and wisely, with temperance.
With a Stoic mindset, one is able to use reason to take the necessary action to understand the source of problems and, given one’s own individual skillset and mindset, either resolve it or find the positives within it. What is key about Stoicism though, is that in line with our pursuit of virtue (to be good, and do good), problems are solved not just for ourselves, but for the good of our community.
“What brings no benefit to the hive brings no benefit to the bee.” — Marcus Aurelius
Stoicism isn’t about being devoid of emotions, and it is not about ignoring someone else’s struggle. Sure, Stoicism teaches us to not let someone else’s insults and attacks trigger us, or worse yet steer us off course. Stoicism allows ut to locate what is in our control and what isn’t, so that we can find the right mindset to do what is right, for the right reasons, and for the good of the wider community we are a part of. And that includes us!
This takes us to the beehive analogy. Once we understand that our own well-being and happiness is directly linked to that of the beehive, our attitude and actions change so that they are in harmony within it. Everything we do affects other people: every single choice we make at work, at home, with our personal lives, and in our relationships affects other people in some way.
Think about it. What we spend money on, what we devote our time to, what we eat, what we wear… it all affects other people (the bees) and by extension, it affects the entire beehive. How we treat all living beings and their habitats is indicative of our own character, and when we realize this, every single action we take takes a new perspective. The Stoics rejected the “nice life” in favor of the “good life”, and that is because the good life involves the beehive and not just the bee.
So while it is perfectly okay to individually pursue a good life, know that to truly do so you must have your heart, soul and eyes fixed on the common good of the community you belong to, and that every action you take is not only for your sake but that of others.
It is no secret that the electronic music industry is a dog-eat-dog environment, but that has to change. It is only so because too many who are a part of it have not realized that being a good person and doing good by others will inherently result in a better community for all, including themselves. Such bees are so focused on achieving fame, money and success that they have lost sight of beehive, and have forgotten that it takes a prosperous, well-functioning beehive for the bee to live a long life.
The 6AM logo is a hexagon, and beehives are comprised of multiple hexagons, joined together and built by bees who do good for the benefit of the entire beehive. While it is an analogy, it is an intended one, and a daily reminder for us that our electronic music community will always matter more than any single individual in it.