For many men, the acquisition of wealth does not end their troubles, it only changes them.

For many men, the acquisition of wealth does not end their troubles, it only changes them.Seneca

The more wealth you have, the more people want to take what you have.

The more wealth you have, the more people want to take it. Trouble, more trouble.

What does that mean?
This is a meta-quote, with Seneca quoting Epicurus : “The acquisition of riches has been for many men, not an end, but a change, of troubles.

In the quote, he is talking about becoming wealthy, and getting a big house. Now you need furniture, and possibly staff. Constructing, hiring, buying, coordinating, whatever is needed.

Wealth doesn’t stop you from having troubles. That said, I’d rather have to deal with finding drapes to match the couch than struggle to figure out what was for dinner.

Whatever our lot in life is, no matter how low or how high, there will be troubles. Once you are fed, sheltered and generally happy, be careful how much more you pursue.

Why is being realistic important? Continue reading

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To many, total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.

To many, total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.Saint Augustine

Fortunately, I beer doesn't appeal to me. But if it did, this could be a problem.

Fortunately, beer doesn’t appeal to me. If it did, this could be a problem. What would you do?

What does that mean?
This is an interesting quote. Can you do just a little? Do you know what is the correct amount for you, and for the situation?

Conversely, do you avoid the issue altogether and simply abstain? But is your will-power sufficient to keep you out of trouble? Or if you waver, will disaster be the result?

That is the question the quote asks. Can you behave in moderation? If you cannot, can you keep completely away from temptation?

The implied question is even more interesting. What happens if your attempt at abstinence fails? Can you keep it together?

Why is knowing yourself important? Continue reading

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It is always helpful to remain honest and truthful in the face of difficulty.

It is always helpful to remain honest and truthful in the face of difficulty. Dalai Lama

UhOh. Did you drop the plate, or did an evil spirit push it off the counter?

UhOh. Did you drop the plate, or did an evil spirit push it off the counter? Truth or lies?

What does that mean?
To me, this quote speaks of the challenge we face when the going gets tough. What will we do, and what should we do?

That is even more important to answer when the answers are not the same. It can be tempting to blame others when things go wrong. But falsehoods do not result in the best long-term answers.

While not always the best for us in the short term, being honest and truthful not only shows us to be role models for behavior under stress, but help clarify what went wrong.

It is difficult to learn a lesson when the facts have been obscured by lies and deceit.

Why is honesty important? Continue reading

Posted in confidence, discipline, help, honest, setting an example, truth | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Grrr! No post, sorry.

I tend to have technical difficulties when I’m on vacation. I’ll have to figure out what is messed up when I get back. I hope to be back in the swing of things come Monday. See you then.

In the mean time, here’s some vintage Seneca to view… Scroll down until you find one you haven’t seen ┬ábefore. There are over 100 to choose from, so get busy!

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Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.

Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”Maya Angelou

Is your courage as solid as stone, or does it need a little work?

Is your courage as solid as stone, or does it need a little work?

What does that mean?
Courage is a powerful word. Whether it is one man standing against a line of tanks, or simply resisting your own personal temptation.

Courage is a foundational virtue, without which we would be, as the quote says, inconsistent. It takes courage to say no to the donut not just once but over and over again.

Whatever vice you are trying to avoid, anyone can do it once. It takes courage to do it repeatedly, until saying ‘No’ becomes a habit, and then part of your character.

The same is true of the other virtues mentioned in the quote, as well as many others. Can you be truthful in a tough situation without courage? Once or twice, but regularly? What of kindness, generosity, or honesty?

Why is courage important? Continue reading

Posted in character, courage, honest, repetition, truth, virtue | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

In addition to modern education, there is a need to learn how to achieve inner peace.

In addition to modern education, there is a need to learn how to achieve inner peace.Dalai Lama

Meditation is one way to seek inner peace. What works for you?

Meditation is one way to seek inner peace. What works for you?

What does that mean?
There are not many people left in this world who would argue against a modern education for the children of the world.

Yet as many people as there are who call out for a modern education to be given to all the children, how many are as vocal for teaching the finding of inner peace? True, we won’t all find it the exact same way, but we will all seek it.

But how many adults know enough on the subject to even have found it for themselves? Of that few number, how many could relate how they have found inner peace?

The dearth [http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dearth] of teachers does not mean the subject is unimportant. It simply points out that we don’t know what we don’t know. Yet.

Why is learning to achieve inner peace important? Continue reading

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But [Injury] does not give Virtue; therefore she cannot take it away.

But [Injury] does not give Virtue; therefore she cannot take it away.Seneca

Temperance, Fortitude, Justice and Prudence - the four great civic virtues - How do you rate?

Temperance, Fortitude, Justice & Prudence – the four great civic virtues – How do you rate?

What does that mean?
This quote is especially interesting in the translation. The longer excerpt (which I have included at the bottom of the post) doesn’t talk of injury having or giving virtue.

Instead it says that virtue doesn’t give or take anything. It also notes that fortune can both bestow and take away what it will. Virtue, on the other hand, neither gives nor takes. It simply is.

Virtue is free for us to take to heart, and once fortified with it, we are in our virtue, unmoved, unshaken, unbendable and unbreakable. We may still be moved or harmed by outside forces, but our virtue endures undiminished.

Virtue is ours for the taking It is a warm cloak against the chill winds of random acts. It is armor against the forces which would seek to injure our character or reputation.

Why is being virtue important? Continue reading

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