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Wheelgunner

Help in Hard Times

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Gentlemen, 

This thead will be my small contribution to our community, of which I am grateful to be a part.  I will keep my own thoughts and opinions here to a minimum, striving to merely share those words that my betters have written - reliably good counsel in times of trial.  It is my hope that this is helpful to you as we navigate this strange passage.  Please check back; I will update regularly.  Hint: if you think the Stoics were fools, read no further.  

Admins, please move or delete this if I have chosen an inappropriate location, or if this content is not appropriate for TGO.

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"If thou workest at that which is before thee, following right reason seriously, vigorously, calmly, without allowing anything else to distract thee... if thou holdest to this, expecting nothing, fearing nothing, but satisfied with thy present activity according to nature, and with heroic truth in every word and sound which thou utterest, thou wilt live happy.  And there is no man who is able to prevent this."

Aurelius,  Meditations, III, p.27, George Long translation.

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"Each day, too, acquire something which will help you to face poverty, or death, or other ills as well.  After running over a lot of different thoughts, pick out one to be digested thoroughly that day."

Seneca, Letter II, Letters from a Stoic, Robin Campbell translation. 

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"Fate the willing leads, the unwilling drags along."

Seneca, Letter CVII (quoting Cicero).

 

Or, stated differently:

"The only safe harbor in this life's tossing, troubled sea is to refuse to be bothered about what the future will bring and to stand ready and confident, squaring the breast to take without skulking or flinching whatever fortune hurls at us."

Seneca, Letter CIV.

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"Show those qualities then which are altogether in thy power: sincerity, gravity, endurance of labor, aversion to pleasure,  contentment with thy portion and with few things, benevolence,  frankness, no love of superfluity, freedom from trifling magnanimity."

Marcus Aurelius,  Meditations, V, p.41, George Long translation. 

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"[E]very man is worth just so much as the things are worth about which he busiest himself."

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, VII, p.62, George Long translation. 

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"Occupy thyself with few things, says the philosopher, if thou wouldst be tranquil...  [T]he greatest part of what we say and do being unnecessary, if a man takes this away, he will have more leisure and less and less uneasiness.  Accordingly on every occasion a man should ask himself, Is this one of the unnecessary things?  ...[A] man should take away not only unnecessary acts but also unnecessary thoughts, for thus superfluous acts will not follow."

Marcus Aurelius, book IV section 24, George Long translation.

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"My third maxim was to endeavor always to conquer myself rather than fortune, and to change my desires rather than the order of the world, and in general to habituate myself in the belief that save our thoughts there is nothing completely in our power."

Rene Descartes,  Part III, Discourse on Method, Norman Kemp Smith translation. 

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"The supreme ideal does not call for any external aids.  Once it  starts looking outside itself for any part of itself it is on the way to being dominated by fortune... Only the wise man is content with what is his.  All foolishness suffers the burden of dissatisfaction with itself."

Seneca, Letter IX.

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Ohmmmmmm

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