the Fairgame Archive

2008-03-17: Still working on this one
by Emily

Emperor Marcus Aurelius Atoninus had this to say somewhere around the year of 170 CE and I can't help but think of the internet:

Begin the morning by saying to yourself, I shall meet with the busybody, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial.  All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil.  But I who have seen the nature of the good that it is beautiful, and of the bad that it is ugly, and the nature of they who do wrong, that is is akin to me, not only of the same blood or seed, but that it participates in the same intelligence and the same portion of the divinity, I can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly, nor can I be angry with my kinsman, nor hate him. For we are made for co-operation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth.  To act against one another, then, is contrary to nature; and it is acting against one another to be vexed and to turn away.

Perhaps minus the condescension about good and evil. I'm quite certain I get to be someone else's busybody, ungrateful and arrogant in turn.

2008-03-17 16:43:47 Graham

That's rather lovely.

I wonder if the "good" and "evil" stuff has shifted meaning in translation. I gather that "good", in those days, could mean something more practical (virtuous, healthy, beneficial) than our sense of the word.


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