If we are lashed and torn by Fortune, let us bear it; it is not cruelty but a struggle, and the oftener we engage in it, the stronger we shall be.

If we are lashed and torn by Fortune, let us bear it; it is not cruelty but a struggle, and the oftener we engage in it, the stronger we shall be.Seneca

We all get tripped up from time to time. What do we learn? How do we become stronger for struggling against this misfortune?

We all get tripped up from time to time. What do we learn from it? How do we become stronger for struggling against this misfortune? Be glad for the chance to improve.

What does that mean?
This quote has a variety of translations, and is part of a much longer discussion on being tough and strong, and that is by being tested.

The good life saps our bodies and minds. It robs them of vitality and endurance. But if we work hard, we get better at that specific ability. Runners have strong legs, laborers have strong hands, and so forth.

Cruelty implies intent, and that is usually lacking in the chances of Fortune or luck. These misfortunes allow us to take stock of our abilities, our strengths, and our toughness.

These situations also allow us to become better, stronger, and tougher through repetition. No one likes having constant misfortune, but constant good luck will not help you become anything besides soft.

Why is struggle important? Continue reading

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We should not teach children the sciences; but give them a taste for them.

We should not teach children the sciences; but give them a taste for them.Rousseau

What inspired you to learn and investigate and search for answers when you were young?

What inspired you to learn and investigate and search for answers when you were young?

What does that mean?
This quote interested me as I was taught this way as a child. Books to read, ideas and demon-strations provided, but not actually taught to me.

For a kid with curiosity, that was certainly the correct way to do it. I wanted to know why, and then how, these things worked, and to discover the system of rules which they obeyed.

To me, that is what this quote is about, awakening the curiosity which is part of most kids. The only trouble is not all are interested in sciences. Some are interested in art or in comedy.

To me, the resulting action should be the same, help them discover what is of interest to them. Let them explore what is interesting, and learn what they wish to know.

Why is curiosity important? Continue reading

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Living your life honestly and truthfully will create trust and friendship.

Living your life honestly and truthfully will create trust and friendship. – Dalai Lama

Who is in your corner? Who will tell you the truth when you need to hear it the most?

Who is in your corner? Who will tell you the truth when you need to hear it the most?

What does that mean?
How do you define your friends or the people you trust? Do the words honest and truthful show up very often? What about the words dishonest and untruthful?

Not everyone is perfect. We all have our flaws. Most of us have weak points about which we will stretch the truth or give evasive answers. That is a little less than honest and truthful.

Yet most of us confine such behavior to the handful of things which truly bother us, and are honest and truthful about everything else in our lives.

And that is a good thing. That helps to build society into something which is full of trust and friendship, as we can easily recognize those who are like us, and avoid those who are not well acquainted with the truth.

Why is being honesty and truthful important? Continue reading

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Therefore the wise man will lose nothing which he will be able to regard as loss; for the only possession he has is virtue, and of this he can never be robbed.

Therefore the wise man will lose nothing which he will be able to regard as loss; for the only possession he has is virtue, and of this he can never be robbed.Seneca

It was yours, yes. But to whom did it belong before you? Will you ever earn any more? Is your virtue intact? Then it is an inconvenience and an annoyance, nothing more.

It was yours, yes. But to whom did it belong before you? Will you ever earn any more? Is your virtue intact? Then it is an inconvenience and an annoyance, nothing more.

What does that mean?
This is an interesting quote in that it teaches you a new way to look at what you possess. The question it asks is what do you truly own, and what cannot be taken from you.

In this case, virtue is the answer the quote gives. Other related answers might include character or ethics, each of which are tightly intertwined with a person’s virtue, or their lack thereof.

The quote states that a wise person should avoid becoming attached to anything which could be lost or stolen from them. Life can be cruel, and things can disappear.

If you are not too attached to it, the loss amounts to nothing of any significance. Things that life will die. Things that work will break. None are any great loss to someone who understands this.

Why is not getting too attached important? Continue reading

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Treat everyone with kindness and respect. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

Treat everyone with kindness and respect. Not because they are nice, but because you are. – Unknown

Are you willing to take the first step and be kind to someone else?

Are you willing to take the first step and be kind to someone else?

What does that mean?
If we waited until others were nice to us before we are nice to them, it might be a long wait. Especially if they are waiting for us to be nice to them first.

Think about that for a moment. How do you break the deadlock? If everyone is waiting for someone else to be kind before they are kind in return, that’s going to be a pretty messed up world, wouldn’t it?

But if you are already a nice person, why not let that part of you shine through? Be nice to others, treat them with kindness and respect first, and then see how they respond.

The alternative is a very long wait, right? Besides, if you don’t act as nice as you are inside, pretty soon, you won’t be as nice as you once were, and no one would ever know how nice you used to be.

Why is being nice important? Continue reading

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You can’t help someone just by making a wish to do so, you have to take action.

You can’t help someone just by making a wish to do so, you have to take action.Dalai Lama

Whether it is a cash donation, a charity run, or a raffle, there are plenty of ways to help. If it's closer to home, you might be able to do something yourself.

Whether it is a cash donation, a charity run, or a raffle, there are plenty of ways to help. If it’s closer to home, you might be able to take some action yourself. And that is a good thing.

What does that mean?
This quote, to me, is about the difference between thinking about doing something and taking action. Wishing for something to happen is thought without action.

It is action which gets things done. Yes, thinking about something is a good first step, especially when those thoughts are good and helpful ones, but they won’t do much to help someone else.

Your thoughts may help you, but they do not help others. To do that, you need to take action. Action, as you may remember, is what it takes in order to get things done.

You just have to make sure that your wishes and thoughts are proper, and that your actions are aligned with your thoughts and wishes. After all, the quote is about helping, right?

Why is action important? Continue reading

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Each man, in corrupting others, corrupts himself.

Each man, in corrupting others, corrupts himself.Seneca

Some places, especially where people from other cultures pass through, it is appropriate to let them know what is considered proper behavior.

Some places, especially where people from other cultures pass through, it is appropriate to let them know what is considered proper behavior. In this case, no “tipping” allowed.

What does that mean?
This quote is part of a larger discussion of patterns of corruption. It talks about how entire communities and even countries have a pattern of what is acceptable.

That pattern is usually impressed on the population as they grow up. They become comfortable with the level and type of corruption applicable to which they were born. Other rules or thresholds of acceptable corruption make them uneasy.

If you are trying to get someone to do something, and resort to corrupt means of doing so, you have crossed a boundary you used to have. What is to prevent you from crossing that line again?

How many crossings does it take before a line is no more? And the line is then re-drawn at the new boundary, the new line you won’t cross. Until you need to, and then the situation repeats.

Why is resisting temptation important? Continue reading

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