Meryl Streep on Bereavement

No matter what you do, the pain is always there in some recess of your mind, and it affects everything that happens afterwards. I think you can assimilate the pain and go on without making an obsession of it.

~ Meryl Streep

Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues

  1. Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  2. Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  3. Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  4. Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  5. Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
  6. Industry. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  7. Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
  8. Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  9. Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  10. Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
  11. Tranquillity. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  12. Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
  13. Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Seneca on a Small Life

“Just as one of small stature can be a perfect man, so a life of small compass can be a perfect life.”

~ Seneca

Mara Bar Serapion on Wealth

Follow diligently learning rather than riches.  For the greater are one’s possessions, the greater is the evil attendant upon them.  For I have myself observed that, where a man’s goods are many, so also are the tribulations which happen to him; and, where luxuries are accumulated, there also do sorrows congregate; and, where riches are abundant, there is stored up the bitterness of many a year.

~ Mara Bar Serapion,_Son_of_Serapion

Albert Camus on Poverty

“What could a man want that is better than poverty? I do not say misery, any more than I mean the work without hope of the modern proletarian. But I do not see that one could desire more than poverty with an active leisure.”

~ Albert Camus

Seneca on Hope

“Weigh carefully your hopes as well as your fears, and whenever all the elements are in doubt, decide in your own favour; believe what you prefer.”

~ Seneca

Seneca on Malady

“It matters little whether you lay a sick man on a wooden or on a golden bed, for whithersoever he be moved he will carry his malady with him; so one need not care whether the diseased mind is bestowed upon riches or upon poverty. His malady goes with the man.”

~ Seneca

Charles Dickens on Blessings

“Reflect upon your present blessings – of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”

~ Charles Dickens

Seneca on the Crowd

“To consort with the crowd is harmful; there is no person who does not make some vice attractive to us, or stamp it upon us, or taint us unconsciously therewith.”

~ Seneca

Seneca on Vices

“Vices tempt you by the rewards which they offer; but in the life of which I speak, you must live without being paid.”

~ Seneca

Epictetus on Luxury

“In things that pertain to the body take only as much as your bare need requires, I mean such things as food, drink, clothing, and shelter; but cut down everything which is for outward show or luxury.”

~ Epictetus

Seneca on Improvement

“I commend you and rejoice in the fact that you are persistent in your studies, and that, putting all else aside, you make it each day your endeavour to become a better man.”

~ Seneca

Seneca on Poverty

“I do not regard a man as poor, if the little which remains is enough for him.”

~ Seneca

Epictetus on Misfortune

“On the occasion of every accident that befalls you, remember to turn to yourself and inquire what power you have for turning it to use.”

~ Epictetus

Marcus Aurelius on Life

“Ask yourself at every moment: is this necessary?”

~ Marcus Aurelius

Seneca on Bustle

“For love of bustle is not industry, – it is only the restlessness of a hunted mind”

~ Seneca

Matt Haig on Kindness

You have no control over who people think you are. So don’t worry about it. If they want to hate some fictional version of you that exists in their mind, let them. Don’t exhaust yourself winning over people you can’t win over. Go where the kindness is.

Matt Haig

Jonathan Freedland on The Thrill of Defeat

By their choice, we’ll know whether they want to win – or to enjoy once more the martyr’s thrill of glorious defeat.

~ Jonathan Freedland / Guardian, 20th December 2019

Robert Harris on Writing

“It’s a profession, a job,” he says. “There’s a terrible preciousness about writing. I think that if you write, you’ve just got to get on and write.”

~ Robert Harris / Financial Times, 20th December 2019

Abraham Lincoln on Character

“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”

~ Abraham Lincoln

Marcus Aurelius on Life

“…life is a war and a journey in a foreign land, and afterwards oblivion.”

~ Marcus Aurelius

Paul Theroux on Reliability

“Gain a modest reputation for being unreliable and you will never be asked to do a thing.”

~ Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux on Enough

“In travel, as in many other experiences in life, once is usually enough.”

~Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux on Britain

“But what I liked in Aberdeen was what I liked generally in Britain: the bread, the fish, the cheese, the flower gardens, the apples, the clouds, the newspapers, the beer, the woolen cloth, the radio programmes, the parks, the Indian restaurants and amateur dramatics, the postal service, the fresh vegetables, the trains, and the modesty and truthfulness of people.”

~ Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux on Defeat

“Borges, who said, “Defeat has a dignity which noisy victory does not deserve.”

~ Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux on Serenity

“He was serene, fulfilled, the real thing, the person no one wants to hear about, a happy man.”

~ Paul Theroux