Everything is but what your opinion makes it; and that opinion lies within yourself. Renounce it when you will, and at once you have rounded the foreland and all is calm; a tranquil sea, a tideless haven.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (12.22)
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To Nature, whence all things come and whither all return, the cry of the humble and well-instructed heart is, ‘Give as thou wilt, take back as thou wilt;’ yet uttered with no heroics, but in pure obedience and goodwill.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (10.14)
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Political language – and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists – is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
George Orwell (1903 – 1950), Politics and the English Language
A man does not sin by commission alone, but often by omission.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (9.5)
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Accept modestly; surrender gracefully.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (8.33)
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Perhaps you think the Creator sent you here to dispose of us as you see fit. If I thought you were sent by the Creator, I might be induced to think you had a right to dispose of me. Do not misunderstand me, but understand fully with reference to my affection for the land. I never said the land was mine to do with as I choose. The one who has a right to dispose of it is the one who has created it. I claim a right to live on my land and accord you the privilege to return to yours.
Chief Joseph (1840 – 1904), Speech from 1876 rejecting demands to lead his people onto a reservation.
Image: Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress
Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (7.8)
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You cannot hope to be a scholar. But what you can do is to curb arrogance; what you can do is to rise above pleasures and pains; you can be superior to the lure of popularity; you can keep your temper with the foolish and ungrateful, yes, even care for them.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (8.8)
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“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821 – 1881), The Brothers Kamarazov
Hat tip to Je t’aime / N’arrete pas.
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To try to make the world in some way better than you found it is to have a noble motive in life.
Andrew Carnegie (1835 – 1919)