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)
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash
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)
Photo by Gary Ellis on Unsplash
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)
Disaster is virtue’s opportunity.
Seneca (4 BC – AD 65), On Providence (iv 4-6)
The rough clothes, the rank growth of hair and beard, the sworn hatred of silverware, the pallet laid on the ground: all these and any other perverse form of self-aggrandisement are things you should avoid…
The life we endeavour to live should be better than the general practice, not contrary to it…
Philosophy demands self-restraint, not self-abnegation – and even self-restraint can comb its hair.
Seneca (4 BC – AD 65), Moral Letters to Lucilius (5.2 – 5.5)
Worth a re-post in these locked down times.
A person is alive when he is of use to many; he is alive when he is of use to himself. Slackers who hide out at home might as well be in the tomb. Go ahead and write it in marble above their door:
Preceded in death by themselves.
Seneca (4 BC – AD 65), Moral Letters to Lucilius (60.4)
What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task.
Viktor E. Frankl (1905 – 1997), Man’s Search for Meaning (p110)
Note: the translation I have is “striving and struggling”, but I’ve also seen it translated as “What man needs is not a tensionless state, but rather a striving struggle for a worthwhile goal.” which I think I prefer.
A bull is filled up by only a few acres of pasturage; a single wood suffices for more than one elephant; yet a human being feeds upon land and sea. Why is that? Has nature given us such an insatiable maw that although the bodies we are given are of modest size, we yet surpass the largest, most ravenous eaters of the animal world? That is not the case … It is not bodily hunger that runs up the bill but ambition. Therefore let us regard those who, as Sallust says, “heed the belly” as belonging to the race of animals rather than of humans.
Seneca (4 BC – AD 65), Moral Letters to Lucilius (60.2 – 4)
Kurt Harden at Cultural Offering has Anton Chekhov’s eight qualities of cultured people…
They have no shallow vanity. They do not care for such false diamonds as knowing celebrities, shaking hands with …
Well worth studying and cultivating.
Read the rest, here.