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)
Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (7.27)
Execupundit’s Michael Wade points to a fascinating essay…
By the same token, what we could call behavioral poverty helps explain how some individuals spend their lives mired in poverty and social dysfunction. Behavioral poverty is reflected in the attitudes, values, and beliefs that justify entitlement thinking, the spurning of personal responsibility, and the rejection of traditional social mechanisms of advancement. It is characterized by high self-indulgence, low self-regulation, exploitation of others, and limited motivation and effort. It can be correlated with a range of antisocial, immoral, and imprudent behaviors, including substance abuse, gambling, insolvency, poor health habits, and crime.
Execupundit – an essential daily visit – is here.
The essay, Behavior Matters, is on City Journal, here.
Photo by Matt Hearne on Unsplash
Professor Anthony Long is largely responsible for reviving serious academic interest in Stoicism.
In this talk (from Stoicon 2018) – Stoicisms Ancient and Modern – he discusses “three big ideas” of Stoicism:
Continue reading “Tony Long on Stoicism”
- The beauty of virtue
- Social utility
- Cosmic connectedness
In the life of a man, his time is but a moment, his being an incessant flux, his senses a dim rushlight, his body a prey of worms, his soul an unquiet eddy, his fortune dark, and his fame doubtful. In short, all that is of the body is as coursing waters, all that is of the soul as dreams and vapours; life, a warfare, a brief sojourning in an alien land; and after repute, oblivion.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (2.17)
Steve Layman, in his “Checking in with…” series, gathers some inspiring quotes from Goethe:
A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.
Find the others, here. Well worth a ponder.
I realise I know hardly anything about Goethe, other than Faust.
The above quote reminds me of Marcus (Meditations, 5.16): “for the soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.”
Image: Goethe in 1828, by Joseph Karl Stieler.
Principles can only lose their vitality when the first impressions from which they derive have sunk into extinction; and it is for you to keep fanning these continually into new flame… You have only to see things once more in the light of your first and earlier vision, and life begins anew.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (7.2)
How many whose praises used to be sung so loudly are now relegated to oblivion; and how many of the singers themselves have long since passed from our sight!
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (7.6)
“Human life is a play, assigning us roles we can scarcely fill.”
Seneca (4 BC – AD 65), Moral Letters to Lucilius (80.7)
Show me that the good life doesn’t consist in its length, but in its use, and that it is possible – no, entirely to common – for a person who has had a long life to have lived too little.
Seneca (4 BC – AD 65), Moral Letters to Lucilius (49.10)