Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius Blog 5 Seeing life’s misfortunes through the eyes of our neighbor

Marcus Aurelius tells us that we should always remember that if men do not do right, we should assume that “they do so involuntarily and in ignorance. For as every soul is unwillingly deprived of the truth, so also is it unwillingly deprived of the power behaving as it should.”

We should “consider that we also do many things wrong, that we are merely men, that even when we refrain from certain faults, we still have the disposition to commit them, either through cowardice, concern about reputation, or some other mean motive.” […]

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius Blog 4 Be critical of yourself, be gracious towards your neighbor

Marcus Aurelius asks us to consider, “when you are offended at any man’s fault, immediately turn to yourself and reflect in what manner you yourself have erred,” perhaps you harmed your neighbor in your pursuit of money or pleasure or reputation are good things in themselves, perhaps these things have […]

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius Blog 3 Genuine Friends Don’t Keep Scorecards

The Meditations admonish us, Do not be lazy! But then he says sometimes it is necessary to rest, but not in excess. Do not rest or eat or drink more than is sufficient, “so you do not love yourself.” What does a good emperor advise us, and also his successors? “Show those qualities that are altogether in your power: sincerity, gravity, endurance of labor, aversion to pleasure, contentment with what you have and with a simple life, benevolence, frankness, no love of frills, freedom from trifling magnanimity.” Do not grumble, do not be stingy, do not flatter, do not try to please men or show off. […]

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius Blog 2, Others will be irritating, but not I!

Marcus Aurelius advises us in Book II to “begin the morning by saying to yourself, I shall meet with the busybody, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them because they are ignorant of what is good and evil. . . I can neither be injured by any of these, for no one can force me to be ugly, nor can I be angry with my kinsman, nor hate him. […]

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius, Blog 1, Friend, or Foe, or Both, of Christianity?

Plato in his book “The Republic” said the ideal ruler would be a philosopher-king. This wish would come true under the rein of Marcus Aurelius, the last of the five good emperors of Rome, who ruled sometime after Nero but before the first Christian emperor Constantine. Marcus was not known as a philosopher during his lifetime, for his Stoic masterpiece, “Meditations,” was penned while he was on campaign as Emperor fighting the barbarian, probably as a series of reflections for his son. The “Meditations” did not circulate widely in antiquity, but gained recognition in the centuries following his reign. […]