What’s Essential Is Invisible To The Eye

In a framed print on his wall, Fred Rogers prominently displayed his favorite quote “L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.” What’s essential is invisible to the eye. It’s a line from the wonderful children’s book The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Why did he like this quote so much? What did it mean to him? Well, as a … Continued

Good Men Can’t Just Do Nothing

Around 1998, Miep Gies supplied a small note to be appended to the end of a forthcoming biography of Anne Frank. It was completely fitting that Gies have the last word on Anne Frank, given all that she had risked and sacrificed between 1942 and 1944 to provide for and supply Frank’s family as they hid … Continued

It’s All On Slippery Footing

Watching the news, we see stories of bankruptcy, this or that industry disrupted by new technologies, stories of people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Most of the time, what is our reaction? Our mind searches for ways to make it that person’s fault. They spent too much. They were too complacent. Serves them right … Continued

Practice What Needs Practice

Today, you have a simple prompt from Marcus Aurelius: Try to improve at something you’re not naturally good at. “Practice even what seems impossible. The left hand is useless at almost everything, for lack of practice. But it guides the reins better than the right. From practice.” Think about all the things you’re good at. … Continued

Summum bonum

Summum bonum. Latin, “the highest good.”   “Just that you do the right thing. The rest doesn’t matter.” — Marcus Aurelius

Sympatheia

Sympatheia (συμπάθεια): sympathy, affinity of parts to the organic whole, mutual interdependence.   Revere the gods, and look after each other. Life is short—the fruit of this life is a good character and acts for the common good.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 6.30   “Meditate often on the interconnectedness and mutual interdependence of all things in the universe. … Continued

Why Honor Matters: An Interview With Professor Tamler Sommers

A cardinal theme for the Stoics, one which we have covered extensively here, is that of always acting with virtue, dignity, principle and honor. And not only when it’s convenient, but perhaps most importantly, when the costs to yourself might be too high to bear. It is why we were excited when we saw Professor … Continued