"Be like the promontory against which the waves continually break, but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it." (Marcus Aurelius)

Advice I used to follow more around 15 years ago, that I would like to follow once again.

More quick ones from M.A.:

“Let no act be done without a purpose, nor otherwise than according to the perfect principles of art.”

“Do not act as if thou wert going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over thee. While thou livest, while it is in thy power, be good.”

“Everything is only for a day, both that which remembers and that which is remembered.”

“It is no evil for things to undergo change, and no good for things to subsist in consequence of change.”

“Always run to the short way; and the short way is the natural: accordingly say and do everything in conformity with the soundest reason. For such a purpose frees a man from trouble, and warfare, and all artifice and ostentatious display.”

“Does another do me wrong? Let him look to it. He has his own disposition, his own activity. I now have what the universal nature wills me to have; and I do what my nature now wills me to do.

“The best way of avenging thyself is not to become like the wrong doer.”

“I do my duty: other things trouble me not; for they are either things without life, or things without reason, or things that have rambled and know not the way.”

“It is a shame for the soul to be first to give way in this life, when thy body does not give way.”

“He who has seen present things has seen all, both everything which has taken place from all eternity and everything which will be for time without end; for all things are of one kin and of one form.”

“Frequently consider the connexion of all things in the universe and their relation to one another. For in a manner all things are implicated with one another, and all in this way are friendly to one another; for one thing comes in order after another, and this is by virtue of the active movement and mutual conspiration and the unity of the substance.”

“He who loves fame considers another man’s activity to be his own good; and he who loves pleasure, his own sensations; but he who has understanding, considers his own acts to be his own good.”

“It is in our power to have no opinion about a thing, and not to be disturbed in our soul; for things themselves have no natural power to form our judgements.”

“That which is not good for the swarm, neither is it good for the bee.”

“What kind of people are those whom men wish to please, and for what objects, and by what kind of acts? How soon will time cover all things, and how many it has covered already.”

“Let not future things disturb thee, for thou wilt come to them, if it shall be necessary, having with thee the same reason which now thou usest for present things.”

“Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.”

“It is a ridiculous thing for a man not to fly from his own badness, which is indeed possible, but to fly from other men’s badness, which is impossible.”

“That which has died falls not out of the universe. If it stays here, it also changes here, and is dissolved into its proper parts, which are elements of the universe and of thyself. And these too change, and they murmur not.”

“Everything exists for some end, a horse, a vine. Why dost thou wonder? Even the sun will say, I am for some purpose, and the rest of the gods will say the same. For what purpose then art thou? to enjoy pleasure? See if common sense allows this.”

“Nature has had regard in everything no less to the end than to the beginning and the continuance, just like the man who throws up a ball. What good is it then for the ball to be thrown up, or harm for it to come down, or even to have fallen? And what good is it to the bubble while it holds together, or what harm when it is burst? The same may be said of a light also.”

“Short-lived are both the praiser and the praised, and the rememberer and the remembered: and all this in a nook of this part of the world; and not even here do all agree, no, not any one with himself: and the whole earth too is a point.”

“Attend to the matter which is before thee, whether it is an opinion or an act or a word.”

“Thou sufferest this justly: for thou choosest rather to become good to-morrow than to be good to-day.”

“Speak both in the senate and to every man, whoever he may be, appropriately, not with any affectation: use plain discourse.”

“Receive wealth or prosperity without arrogance; and be ready to let it go.”

“It is not fit that I should give myself pain, for I have never intentionally given pain even to another.”

“Suppose that men kill thee, cut thee in pieces, curse thee. What then can these things do to prevent thy mind from remaining pure, wise, sober, just? For instance, if a man should stand by a limpid pure spring, and curse it, the spring never ceases sending up potable water; and if he should cast clay into it or filth, it will speedily disperse them and wash them out, and will not be at all polluted. How then shalt thou possess a perpetual fountain and not a mere well? By forming thyself hourly to freedom conjoined with contentment, simplicity and modesty.”

“Generally, wickedness does no harm at all to the universe; and particularly, the wickedness of one man does no harm to another. It is only harmful to him who has it in his power to be released from it, as soon as he shall choose.”

“Men exist for the sake of one another. Teach them then or bear with them.”

“He who does wrong does wrong against himself. He who acts unjustly acts unjustly to himself, because he makes himself bad.”

“He often acts unjustly who does not do a certain thing; not only he who does a certain thing.”

“Thy present opinion founded on understanding, and thy present conduct directed to social good, and thy present disposition of contentment with everything which happens- that is enough.”

“Among the animals which have not reason one life is distributed; but among reasonable animals one intelligent soul is distributed: just as there is one earth of all things which are of an earthy nature, and we see by one light, and breathe one air, all of us that have the faculty of vision and all that have life.”

“For the stone which has been thrown up it is no evil to come down, nor indeed any good to have been carried up.”

“All things are changing: and thou thyself art in continuous mutation and in a manner in continuous destruction, and the whole universe too.”

“It is thy duty to leave another man’s wrongful act there where it is.”

“No longer talk at all about the kind of man that a good man ought to be, but be such.”

“Imagine every man who is grieved at anything or discontented to be like a pig which is sacrificed and kicks and screams.  Like this pig also is he who on his bed in silence laments the bonds in which we are held. And consider that only to the rational animal is it given to follow voluntarily what happens; but simply to follow is a necessity imposed on all.”

“Severally on the occasion of everything that thou doest, pause and ask thyself, if death is a dreadful thing because it deprives thee of this.”

“How ridiculous and what a stranger he is who is surprised at anything which happens in life.”

“Does the light of the lamp shine without losing its splendour until it is extinguished; and shall the truth which is in thee and justice and temperance be extinguished before thy death?”

“If it is not right, do not do it: if it is not true, do not say it.”

“First, do nothing inconsiderately, nor without a purpose. Second, make thy acts refer to nothing else than to a social end.”

“Consider that everything is opinion, and opinion is in thy power. Take away then, when thou choosest, thy opinion, and like a mariner, who has doubled the promontory, thou wilt find calm, everything stable, and a waveless bay.”

"Be like the promontory against which the waves continually break, but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it." (Marcus Aurelius)

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." (Mark Twain)

More Mark Twain:

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

“There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.”

“Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.” / “I never let schooling interfere with my education.”

“Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run.”

“The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.”

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”

“No sinner is ever saved after the first twenty minutes of a sermon.”

“It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.”

“There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.”

“Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”

“Ideally a book would have no order to it, and the reader would have to discover his own.”

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

“The wit knows that his place is at the tail of a procession.”

“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”

“It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”

“My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) everybody drinks water.”

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”

“Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.”

“The lack of money is the root of all evil.”

“Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”

“Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough.”

“Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.”

“Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.”

“Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.”

“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”

“It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native criminal class except Congress.”

“We have the best government that money can buy.”

“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.”

“Laws control the lesser man… Right conduct controls the greater one.”

“Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it.” / “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”

“Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied.”

“It is better to take what does not belong to you than to let it lie around neglected.”

“Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.”

“There are lies, damned lies and statistics.”

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

“Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.”

“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.”

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”

“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”

“Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”

“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.”

“Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.”

“Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.”

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

“I don’t give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.”

“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

“The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little.”

“Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.”

“Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.”

“Be careless in your dress if you will, but keep a tidy soul.”

“Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.”

“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”

“If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way.”

“Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”

“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”

“Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”

“What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself.”

“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

“Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.”

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." (Mark Twain)

"Forgive but do not forget"

Forgive but do not forget, or you will be hurt again. Forgiving changes the perspectives. Forgetting loses the lesson.” (Paulo Coelho)

Wow. This guy is good. I love everything I’ve read on his blog, and there’s a ton more to read there and elsewhere. Thank you, Universe, for making me stumble upon Paulo Coelho tonight (on twitter!). § Meditation walking § In search of the perfect leader § Wow. Wow. My mom just said, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” No kidding. This guy is wiser than me, but I feel like he’s speaking my language—given that he’s talking about sparks and the necessity of making mistakes (again) (again), I think that is undeniable—though clearly Coelho is more seasoned and prolific than I am. There are very few people I admire—in fact, hardly any—but I already have some admiration based on what I have seen on the blog and youtube. I am thankful to have stumbled upon this man’s writing and wisdom. I can learn from this. Thank you.

"Forgive but do not forget"

the chief danger of our time

“Precisely because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a reproach, it is desirable, in order to break through that tyranny, that people should be eccentric. Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.” (John Stuart Mill)

the chief danger of our time