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Selected quotes from Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Just some paragraphs from the book that rang a bell with me. Either for their meaning, or for how they sounded.

This collection is currently not finished – still picking out my favourite quotes. 🙂 — 14th January 2020

It was the critic Alexander who put me on my guard against unnecessary fault-finding. People should not be sharply corrected for bad grammar, provincialisms, or mispronunciation; it is better to suggest the proper expression by tactfully introducing it oneself in, say, one’s reply to a question or one’s acquiescence in their sentiments, or into a friendly discussion of the topic itself (not of the diction), or by some other suitable form of reminder.

Meditations, Book 1 — Paragraph 10

Wrong, wrong thou art doing to thyself, O my soul; and all too soon thou shalt have no more time to do thyself right. Man has but one life; already thine is nearing its close, yet still hast thou no eye to thine own honour, but art stalking thy happiness on the souls of other men.

Meditations. Book 2 — Paragraph 6

Never value the advantages derived from anything involving breach of faith, loss of self-respect, hatred, suspicion, or execration of others, insincerity, or the desire for something which has to be veiled and curtained.

Meditations, Book 3 — Paragraph 7

If the inward power that rules us be true to Nature, it will always adjust itself readily to the possibilities and opportunities offered by circumstance. It asks for no predeterminate material; in the pursuance of its aims it is willing to compromise; hindrances to its progress are merely converted into matter for its own use. It is like a bonfire mastering a heap of rubbish, which would have quenched a feeble glow; but its fiery blaze quickly assimilates the load, consumes it, and flames the higher for it.

Meditations, Book 4 — Paragraph 1