In Larry Hendrick’s wonderful reinterpretation of Xenophon’s 2,400 year old book about Cyrus the Great, he has Cyrus make this observation:
“In my experience, men who respond to good fortune with modesty are harder to find than those who face adversity with courage.”
Xenophon was an interesting writer. He was a student of Socrates, a Greek who sent his sons to be raised in the Spartan agoge, a man whose own life was defined by a singular act of nearly inhuman bravery in which he led 10,000 Greek soldiers trapped in Persia back home safely.
Yet he was saying that actually courage wasn’t that rare. That modesty and self-control and humility are actually more impressive. And indeed he’s right. Particularly in today’s age of great prosperity.
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