Tag: Quotations

Echoes through time: the things that fortune favours

All the things that fortune favours become fruitful and pleasant only if those who possess them are also in possession of themselves and not in the power of heir property. It is a mistake to judge fortune responsible for anything that is good or bad for us. Fortune merely gives us the material for good and bad things—the preliminaries for what will turn out to be either good or bad within us.

Seneca (4 BC – AD 65),  Moral Letters to Lucilius (98.2)

Echoes through time: he who chooses his plan

He who lets the world, or his own portion of it, choose his plan of life for him, has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of imitation. He who chooses his plan for himself, employs all his faculties. … Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing.

John Stuart Mill (1806 – 1873), On Liberty

Echoes through time: for what task were you created?

Everything – a horse, a vine – is created for some duty. This is nothing to wonder at: even the sun-god himself will tell you, ‘There is a work that I am here to do,’ and so will the other sky-dwellers. For what task, then, were you yourself created? For pleasure? Can such a thought be tolerated?

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (8.19)