I re-read Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations a couple days ago, a New Year’s tradition. I also spent some more time digging in the appendices in this book, and comparing my notes from 2013. And, as I did last year, I tweeted some quotes and paraphrases that struck me as I read it this time around. A few of those, with book/chapter references:
Expecting nothing, shirking nothing, […] and a heroic truthfulness in all that you say and mean – then you will lead a good life. And nobody is able to stop you. (3.12)
Whenever you want to cheer up, think of the admirable qualities and virtues of your friends. (6.48)
That last one makes me think of Seneca, especially, and some other good stuff filed under my friends tag.
Do not be ashamed of being helped. […] It is human nature to love even those who trip and fall.“ (7.7 and 7.22)
Without frenzy, without apathy, without pretense. (7.69)
Prayer about things you want in the world < Prayer to be free from fear, desire, regret. (9.40)
Kindness is invincible. (11.18.9)
I appreciated his personal journaling this year as much as ever, but also felt like some things were missing – because, selfishly, he’s writing for himself and not for me specifically. But I take some comfort in seeing him grapple with his own shortcomings as I work on my own, and try to live well despite them.
Be sure to check out Austin Kleon’s thoughts from his own re-reading. I’ve got another re-read coming up shortly, just as soon as the postman delivers the Hays translation that Ryan Holiday recommends. Filed under: Stoicism.