Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is a book that has been living on my desk for months, but it hasn’t been gathering dust like some of the other books I have on my desk. I actually frequently read from it, usually when I’m taking a short break from the computer screen. I rest my eyes reading beautiful quotes.
I’m not a stoic, but I guess there’s a little stoic in me whether I admit it or not. Moreover, I don’t know how or why, but there’s something subliminally Christian about Marcus Aurelius that I like. Reading lines from Meditations has a calming effect.
The first time I read Meditations was years ago. And I have underlined dozens of sentences. Most of the times, those are the sentences I read when I’m on my short breaks. They are either thoughts that I agree with or statements that trigger something in me.
Here are some of the quotes that I have underlined:
- It is a king’s part to do good and be ill spoken of.
- Perfection of character requires this, that you should live each day as though it were your last, and be neither excitable, nor lethargic, nor duplicitous.
- Always live the finest of lives; and the power to do so lies in one’s soul, if one is indifferent to things indifferent.
- I have often marveled at how everyone loves himself above all others, yet places less value on his own opinion of himself than that of everyone else.
- Close is the time when you will forget all things; and close, too, the time when all will forget you.