November 6

I think it’s time for some more wisdom from dead white guys. 

If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.

– Theodore Roosevelt

The parable of Pythagoras is dark, but true; Cor ne edito; “Eat not the heart.” Certainly if a man would give it a hard phrase, those that lack friends to open themselves unto are cannibals of their own hearts. But one thing is most admirable (wherewith I will conclude this first fruit of friendship), which is, that this communicating of a man’s self to his friend, works two contrary effects; for it redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs in halves. For there is no man, that imparteth his joys to his friend, but he joyeth the more; and no man that imparteth his griefs to his friend, but he grieveth the less.

– Francis Bacon

The condition and characteristic of an uninstructed person is this: he never expects from himself profit, or advantage, nor harm, but from externals.

The condition of a philosopher is this: he expects all advantage and all harm from himself. The signs of one who is making progress are these: he censures no man, he praises no man, he says nothing about himself as if he were somebody or knew something. When he is impeded or hindered, he blames himself. If a man praises him he ridicules the praiser to himself and if a man censures him, he makes no defence. He removes desires from himself, and transfers aversion to those things which are contrary to nature. He employs a moderate attitude towards everything; whether he is considered fooling or ignorant he cares not.  

In a word, he watches himself as if he were an enemy and lying in an ambush. 

— Marcus Aurelius

I am a democrat because I believe in the Fall of Man. I think most people are democrats for the opposite reason. A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that everyone deserved a share in the government. The danger of defending democracy on those grounds is that they’re not true. And whenever their weakness is exposed, the people who prefer tyranny make capital out of the exposure… The real reason for democracy is just the reverse. Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters.

– C.S. Lewis


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