Sunday, September 24, 2017

Commentary on Meditations: B5:28

Are you angry with the man who smells like a goat, or the one with foul breath? What will you have him do? That's the way his mouth is, that's the way his armpits are, so it is inevitable that they should give out odours to match. 'But the man is endowed with reason', you say, 'and if he puts his mind to it he can work out why he causes offence.' Well, good for you! So you too are no less endowed with reason: bring your rationality, then, to bear on his rationality - show him, tell him. If he listens, you will cure him, and no need for anger. Neither hypocrite nor whore.

We are made for each other.  Don't be upset when people don't take care of themselves.  Use your reason, as best you can, to help them see their folly.  Then leave it as it.  The other person can accept the advice or ignore it.  But don't be upset.

Regarding the sharp, last statement ("neither hypocrite nor whore"), he's trying to show the right, middle path.  We should not be a hypocrite (a phony, or fraud - someone who may profess that we should help other people, but does not) nor should we be a whore (flaunting, bearing all, no filters).  No anger; just plain reason and action.

(see also Citadel p. 225-226, 258).

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