Monday, February 27, 2023

Daily Stoic: Does Anger Work?

This is a meditation that Marcus Aurelius writes about the Emperors of Rome from the past. How well were they remembered (pre-Wikipedia)? What did all their fury and anger do?

Keep a list before you mind of those who burned with anger and resentment about something, of even the most renowned for success, misfortune, evil  deed, or any special distinction. Then ask yourself, how did that work out? Smoke and dust, the stuff of simple myth trying to be legend.

Marcus Aurelius

Sure we remember the work of people that followed their stoic principals and focus on the good of the citizens. Lincoln ending slavery. Washington as the father of our country. Rosevelt (both) for their contributions to the health and wellbeing of Americans.

But then think of those that we tend to forget over time. What did Benjamin Harrison do as President? What is the legacy of Chester Arthur? Who were the President's between Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln? Probably small men with too much ambition and not enough focus on others.

Watch people who flail about as the move from one goal to another, each ephemeral and easily forgotten.

PS - I love the line : ... Smoke and dust, the stuff of simple myth trying to be legend. Think here of Kim Kardashian or my father. They yell, they strut, they bask in attention of the many for the joy attention itself. How will the world remember them? For the most part, the world will not remember 2 weeks later.

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