Meditations

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“At break of day, when you are reluctant to get up, have this thought ready to mind: ‘I am getting up for a man’s work. Do I still then resent it, if I’m going out to do what I was born for, the purpose for which I was brought into the world? Or was I created to wrap myself in blankets and keep warm?’ ‘But this is more pleasant.’ Were you born for pleasure— all for feeling, not for action? Can you not see plants, birds, ants, spiders, bees all doing their own work, each helping in their own way to order the world? And then you do not want to do the work of a human being— you do not want to hurry to the demands of your own nature.”


“… but there are many other qualities of which you cannot say, ‘but that’s not the way I am made’. So display those virtues which are wholly in your own power— integrity, dignity, hard work, self-denial, contentment, frugality, kindness, independence, simplicity, discretion, magnanimity. Do you not see how many virtues you can already display without any excuse of lack of talent or aptitude?”

— MARCUS AURELIUS