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Marcus Aurelius

Sunday, March 16, 2014

from Book One of MEDITATIONS by Marcus Aurelius

From my grandfather Verus I learned good morals and the government of my temper.

From the reputation and remembrance of my father, modesty and a manly character.

From my mother, piety and beneficence, and abstinence, not only from evil deeds, but even from evil thoughts; and further, simplicity in my way of living, far removed from the habits of the rich.

From my great-grandfather, not to have frequented public schools, and to have had good teachers at home, and to know that on such things a man should spend liberally.

From my governor, to be neither of the green nor of the blue party at the games in the Circus, nor a partizan either of the Parmularius or the Scutarius at the gladiators' fights; from him too I learned endurance of labour, and to want little, and to work with my own hands, and not to meddle with other people's affairs, and not to be ready to listen to slander.

From Diognetus, not to busy myself about trifling things, and not to give credit to what was said by miracle-workers and jugglers about incantations and the driving away of daemons and such things; and not to breed quails for fighting, nor to give myself up passionately to such things; and to endure freedom of speech; and to have become intimate with philosophy.......

From Rusticus I received the impression that my character required improvement and discipline; and from him I learned not to be led astray to sophistic emulation, nor to writing on speculative matters, nor to delivering little hortatory orations, nor to showing myself off as a man who practises much discipline, or does benevolent acts in order to make a display.....

From Sextus, a benevolent disposition, and the example of a family governed in a fatherly manner, and the idea of living conformably to nature; and gravity without affectation, and to look carefully after the interests of friends, and to tolerate ignorant persons, and those who form opinions without consideration.....

From Alexander the grammarian, to refrain from fault-finding, and not in a reproachful way to chide those who uttered any barbarous or solecistic or strange-sounding expression.....n.

From Fronto I learned to observe what envy, and duplicity, and hypocrisy are in a tyrant, ...

From Alexander the Platonic, not frequently nor without necessity to say to any one, or to write in a letter, that I have no leisure; nor continually to excuse the neglect of duties required by our relation to those with whom we live, by alleging urgent occupations.

Well over 2000 years later, these words live as simple yet important precepts. I am an avowed "partizan" so I must be wary of the tendency to go overboard---animosity and anger equals eating, for me.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    you are a beautiful writer
    2650 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13425678
    Oh my goodness! "...to endure freedom of speech..." I love that! It helps me! I advocate and believe in freedom of speech but sometimes the way people exercise it drives me bonkers! I will think of it in future as practicing endurance. Thank you, Natalie! This was lovely to read.
    2650 days ago
    Excellent thoughts. We would do well to heed them today.
    2650 days ago
  • TREV1964
    Deep stuff, thanks for sharing.


    2650 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14277958
    Very useful. It does make me wonder, because I know he was something of a smart-ass, if he learned some of these things by the bad example of some of these people.
    2651 days ago
    Such deep thoughts to ponder this morning!

    2651 days ago
    Wow!thanks for sharing!
    2651 days ago
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