Thursday

July 27

DOTH any man offend? It is against himself that he doth offend: why should it trouble thee?

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book iv. 21.

ONE thing there is, and that only, which is worth our while in this World, and ought by as much to be esteemed; and that is, according to truth and righteousness, meekly and lovingly to converse with false, and unrighteous men.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book vi. 42.

WHEN thou wilt comfort and cheer thyself, call to mind the several gifts and virtues of them, whom thou dost daily converse with; as for example, the industry of the one; the modesty of another; the liberality of a third ; of another some other thing. For nothing can so much rejoice thee, as the resemblances and parallels of several virtues, visible and eminent in the dispositions of those who live with thee.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book vi. 43.

3 comments:

  1. We gotta accent the positive...

    Even though the people around us are human and have faults, we need to focus on the positive aspects of their personalities. If we constantly dwell on the negative aspects we will do nothing to uplift ourselves and our attitude towards them is coloured with the negativity. Quite often a positive attitude will influence the other to be more positive and virtuous in their outlook also.

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  2. ‎"If you would be happy, recognize the good in those around you, and acknowledge their excellent qualities and virtues."

    This is not mere Pollyanna, nor a blindness to the truth about the fallibility of our race (ourselves included), but rather a tonic to redress the broad brush strokes we paint others with. Most of the people in our circles have wonderful qualities, things that are to be admired and emulated. Rather than focus constantly on the failings of others, seeing the world in only one light, we should also celebrate each others excellence and virtues. Perhaps our mis-steps would seem less drastic, and we would be more forgiving. After all, even 'the Devil can be admired for his persistence.' (from an old joke)

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  3. I so enjoyed this selection.

    Just yesterday I had a very heated exchange with my estranged mother. I can honestly say that I didn't deserve the things she said to me and was probably right in some of the things I said. however....it dawned on me that her responses and posture are due to decades of drug abuse. Once I realized that, I calmed down and remembered the words of Marcus: why are you suprised when others offend you?

    I know that's not what this passage is exactly about, but it relates.

    However, I also love the notion of looking for virtues in others and cherishing those. There are very few people who don't have some 'redeeming quality'. You have to be able to look past the things that might typically offend to see them, but they are there. We would be well-served to heed that advice regularly.

    Thanks for the great entries.

    brett

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