Fatherly Instructions


Begin the morning by saying to yourself, I shall meet with the busy-body, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. They are this way by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil. But I who have seen the nature of good: that it is beautiful; and of bad: that it is ugly; and the nature of they who do wrong: that it is akin to me, not only of the same blood or seed, but that it participates in the same intelligence and the same portion of the divinity. I can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly, nor can I be angry with my kin, nor hate them. For we are made for co-operation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth [like opposite pedals of a bicycle –ed.]. To act against one another then is contrary to nature; and it is acting against one another to be vexed and to turn away.

Marcus Aurelius, “Meditations”

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