On Stoicism


“How much better is it to be known for doing well by many than for living extravagantly? How much more worthy than spending on sticks and stones is it to spend on people?”


This quote suggests that it is more impressive to be frugal and give to charity than to be known for lavish spending and material possessions, as was popular among Romans. Examples are given of Marcus Aurelius selling off imperial furnishings to pay off war debts and José Mujica, former president of Uruguay, who gave 90 percent of his presidential salary to charity and drove a twenty-five-year-old car. It suggests that it takes strength of character to do such things, which is more impressive than simply spending money to gain a reputation.


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