A short reflection on a quote from Marcus Aurelius about how to leverage the past | Summum Bonum | Stoicism
Of all men, only those who find time for philosophy are at leisure; only they are truly alive; for it is not only their own lifetime they guard well: they add every age to their own.
— Quote by Marcus Aurelius
Ah yes, a perfect quote to celebrate me for how awesome I am since I like to read about philosophy. 😏
Anyway, this should hopefully be more about awareness than flaunting.
I cannot describe how much it changed me (for the better) to read about philosophy and choosing one for myself to guide my decisions in life.
There are so many things in life that are just straight-up repetitive. History is no exception. Humans re-learn what other, older humans have learned before them, improve it (hopefully) and then the cycle begins anew. It just so happens that many things we deal with today — i.e. dynamics in our society — the ancient Greeks and Romans have also dealt with, just a mere 2000 years ago.
Now tell me why it would make sense to neglect their reflections if they might have encountered the exact same problems that we have today. The ancients had to work, deal with people, they fell in and out of love, they fought enemies, lead others, followed leader, … the list goes on.
What we are looking at there are no details, it’s the principle of things, the pattern, the repeatable, good thing we can take away and implement it in our lives.
So we should absolutely read Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, for example, and try to reflect on how our own lives relate to his experiences.
And not only the great ancient philosophers have something to say we can learn from. Do you know who I consult for business decisions? My 75yo grandma. That’s right. She’s had her own clothing business from the time she was 16yo while raising 6 kids, how about that hm? She doesn’t really understand what the internet is, nor does she know any modern business models, but she knows a hell of a lot about decision-making and how to deal with people.
Take the wisdom from where you can get it and enrich your perspective as if you’d lived a thousand lives. Don’t drink the cool-aid without validation, of course, think about how certain things would impact your life and incorporate what makes sense to you.
You will know the truth when you hear it.
History repeats itself.
Learn from the collective suffering of the past.
Now we’d love to hear from you.
What situation have you dealt with where it helped you to consult the ancient (or not-so-ancient) wisdom of the ones that came before you?
Or maybe you have another great quote regarding awareness? Don’t hesitate to contact us through the quote submission form 📝
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