Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Commentary on Meditations: B5:22

What is not harmful to the city does not harm the citizen either. Whenever you imagine you have been harmed, apply this criterion: if the city is not harmed by this, then I have not been harmed either. If on the other hand harm is done to the city, you should not be angry, but demonstrate to the doer of this harm what he has failed to see himself.

This is an interesting perspective, especially in this day of terrorism.  The news is peppered with reports of acts of terrorism on a monthly basis.  Or, we are bombarded with reports of North Korea developing nuclear missiles or launching ICBMs over Japan.  What could harm the city (obliterate it) does indeed harm the citizen.  I don't think, if it ever gets to that point, that we'd need to "demonstrate" to Kim Jong-un "what he has failed to see himself."  This is an extreme example and I also don't think this is what Marcus intended in meaning.

Rather, these "harmful" acts that could happen to us individually, should be viewed through the question, "does it harm the city."  If it doesn't, no big deal.  If it does, then don't get upset, rather try to teach the one who committed the "harmful" acts, a better way.

(see also Citadel p. 67)

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