On Stoicism


“When you first rise in the morning tell yourself: I will encounter busybodies, ingrates, egomaniacs, liars, the jealous and cranks. They are all stricken with these afflictions because they don’t know the difference between good and evil. Because I have understood the beauty of good and the ugliness of evil, I know that these wrong-doers are still akin to me . . . and that none can do me harm, or implicate me in ugliness—nor can I be angry at my relatives or hate them. For we are made for cooperation.”


This quote discusses the idea of preparing oneself for difficult interactions with other people. It suggests that if one has a mindset of understanding and forgiveness, they will be better equipped to handle difficult situations. Nicolas Chamfort’s joke is used as an example of how one can prepare for the day by expecting that someone will be a jerk, and thus be better prepared for it. The point is to be ready for these interactions, rather than writing off everyone in advance.

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