“Here is a rule to remember in the future, when anything tempts you to feel bitter: not, ‘This is misfortune’; but rather, ‘To bear this worthily is good fortune.'”

“Put away from you the belief that ‘I have been wronged’, and with it will go the feeling. Reject your sense of injury, and the injury itself disappears.”

“One whose chief regard is for his own mind, and for the divinity within him and the service of its goodness, will strike no poses, utter no complains, and crave neither for solitude nor yet for a crowd. Best of all, his life will be free from continual pursuings and avoidances . . . no other care has he in life but to keep his mind from straying into paths incompatible with those of an intelligent and social being.”

“No where can man find a quieter and more untroubled retreat than in his own soul; above all, he who possesses resources in himself, which he need only contemplate to secure immediate ease of mind–the ease that is but another word for a well-ordered spirit.”

“After all, what is it that frets you? The vices of humanity? Remember the doctrine that all rational beings are created for one another; that toleration is a part of justice; and that men are not intentionally evildoers. Think of the myriad enmities, suspicions, animosities, and conflicts that are now vanished with the dust and ashes of the men who knew them; and fret no more.”

“Among the truths, you will do well to contemplate most frequently are these two: first, that things can never touch the soul, but stand inert outside it, so that disquiet can arise only from fancies within; and secondly, that all visible objects change in a moment, and will be no more. Think of the countless change in which you yourself have had a part. The whole universe is change, and life itself is but what you deem it.”

“You have seen that?–now look at this. Your part is to be serene, to be simple. Is someone doing wrong? The wrong lies with himself. Has something befallen you? Good; then it was your portion of the universal lot, assigned to you when time began; a strand woven into your particular web, like all else that happens. Life, in a word, is short; then snatch your profit from the passing hour, by obedience to reason and just doing. Unbend, but be temperate.”

“Give your heart to the trade you have learnt, and draw refreshment from it. Let the rest of your days be spent as one who has whole-heartedly committed his all to the gods, and is thenceforth no man’s master or slave.”

“If then you would avoid discouragement, never become unduly absorbed in things that are not of the first importance.”

“Ever run the short way; and the short way is the way of nature, with perfect soundness in each word and deed as the goal. Such an aim will give you freedom from anxiety and strife, and from all compromise and artifice.”

 

Read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius 

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