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From Vol. 4, Issue 9, September 2022

Stoic quotes for every day of the month

Stoic Everyday || Editor

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1 - Don’t tell me how thoroughly you have read the book On Impulse. Idiot, that’s not what I am looking for. Show me instead what you learned from the book: how you exercise your impulse to act or not act, how you manage your desires and aversions, how you approach life, how you apply yourself to it and prepare for it. [Epictetus D1.4]

2  - We exist for one another. We make each other better or put up with each other. [Marcus Aurelius, M8.59]

3  - We shouldn’t get mad at people’s weaknesses. What can we say to someone who is angry at someone who stumbled in darkness? Or at a deaf person because he cannot hear their orders? Or at children, because immersed in their games and silly jokes, they forgot what they were asked to do? What if you choose to be angry with the infirm for being sick, for growing old, or becoming tired? [Seneca, A1.10]

4  - Live what you have learned. [Epictetus D1.4]

5  - An arrow travels in one way, but the mind in another. Even when the mind is cautious and is working around a problem from different angles, it still moves directly forward towards its goal. [Marcus Aurelius, M8.60]

6  - Among humanity’s misfortunes is this: Our intellects are disordered. They not only cannot help going wrong but love it too. [Seneca, A1.10]

7  - If you are controlled by things outside your power, you cannot be free or faithful. You will be tossed back and forth and be at the mercy of others and they can thwart you. [Epictetus D1.4]

8  - Entering into others’ minds is letting them enter yours. [Marcus Aurelius, M8.61]

9  - To avoid being angry with people, you must forgive all at once. [Seneca, A1.10]

10  - The purpose of studying is to learn to get rid of complaints, misfortunes, disappointments, and self-pity. [Epictetus D1.4]

11  - Nature made rational beings for mutual benefit, to help, not harm, one another. To go against nature’s will is to sin against the highest god. [Marcus Aurelius, M9.1]

12  - We are born as humans, subject to many mental and physical disorders. We are neither dull nor slow, but we misuse our insight and our intellect. [Seneca, A1.10]

13  - What are tragic stories except descriptions of people who went after things that were not under their control, failed, and as a result, suffered? [Epictetus D1.4]

14  - The universal nature is the nature of everything. All things are closely linked. Truth is just another name for this universal nature. [Marcus Aurelius, M9.1]

15  - What stops the wise person from being angry? It is the number of wrongdoers. The wise see how unjust and how dangerous it is to be angry with vices that everyone shares. [Seneca, A1.10]

16  - If a person denies what is obviously true, no argument would change his mind. We cannot reason with him. [Epictetus D1.5]

17  - To lie deliberately is a sin because the liar is unjust. To lie involuntarily is also a sin because the liar disrupts the harmony of nature. It conflicts with the universal order. [Marcus Aurelius, M9.1]

18  - What is there to be angry about? Everything moves us either to tears or to laughter. [Seneca, A1.10]

19  - Rigidity can come about in two ways: Either one's intellect is frozen, or one's sense of honour is. [Epictetus D1.5]

20  - If you are afraid of pain, you are afraid something is bound to happen because of the nature of things. [Marcus Aurelius, M9.1]

21  - The wise will not be angry with wrongdoers. Why not? Because they know that no one is born wise but becomes so. They know that very few turn out to be wise at any given time. [Seneca, A1.10]

22  - Most of us will go to great lengths to avoid deadening the body; our souls, not so much. [Epictetus D1.5]

23  - Nature is indifferent to some things. If it had a preference between two things, it wouldn’t have created both. If we want to follow nature, we should have her mindset and share her indifference. To prefer life or death, pleasure or pain, fame or disrepute is a sin. Nature does not prefer one over the other. [Marcus Aurelius, M9.1]

24  - No sane man becomes angry with nature. What can we say if someone chooses to be surprised that fruit does not hang on shrubbery, or to wonder at bushes and thorns not being covered with some useful berry?. [Seneca, A1.10]

25  - One man does not notice the contradiction – he is in a bad way. Another man notices it, indeed, but is not moved and does not improve; he is in a still worse state. [Epictetus D1.5]

26  - A fine person would have said goodbye to this world before coming across falsehood, double-dealing, luxury, and pride. [Marcus Aurelius, M9.2]

27  - The wise, being tranquil, deal candidly with mistakes. They are not enemies of wrongdoers, but the wise will set them straight. [Seneca, A1.10]

28  - You will find reason to praise providence in everything that happens in the world – provided you can see things in the larger context and if you have a sense of gratitude. [Epictetus D1.6]

29  - An infection of mind is far more dangerous than anything you can contract from the polluted atmosphere. Diseases threaten our lives, but an infection of mind attacks our humanity. [Marcus Aurelius, M9.2]

30  - The wise will leave their house every day with this thought in mind: “I will meet many who are drunkards, lustful, ungrateful, greedy, and excited by ambition”. He will see all these with kindness, as a doctor does his patients. Seneca, A1.10]

D: Discourses. M: Meditations. A: On Anger