Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Commentary on Meditations: B5:5

They cannot admire you for intellect. Granted - but there are many other qualities of which you cannot say, 'but that is 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? And yet you are still content to lag behind. Or does the fact that you have no inborn talent oblige you to grumble, to scrimp, to toady, to blame your poor body, to suck up, to brag, to have your mind in such turmoil? No, by heaven, it does not! You could have got rid of all this long ago, and only be charged - if charge there is - with being rather slow and dull of comprehension. And yet even this can be worked on - unless you ignore or welcome your stupidity.

We all have qualities inborn to us.  These we have no control over.  We may attempt to overcome them through practice and discipline.  But, we would have much greater success if we were to focus on those virtues that are in our control - the ones Marcus lists out:

- integrity
- dignity
- hard work
- self-denial
- contentment
- frugality
- kindness
- independence
- simplicity
- discretion
- magnanimity

(also see Citadel p. 45, 120, 287)

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