Normally, this would lead to three posts…but I figured I’d stick all the devotional quotes I especially liked together in one this fine Saturday…
“If you wish to improve, be content to appear clueless or stupid in extraneous matters—don’t wish to seem knowledgeable. And if some regard you as important, distrust yourself.”
–EPICTETUS, ENCHIRIDION, 13a
How much more time, energy, and pure brainpower would you have available if you drastically cut your media consumption? How much more rested and present would you feel if you were no longer excited and outraged by every scandal, breaking story, and potential crisis (many of which never come to pass anyway)?
If you could go anywhere, where would you like to go? Not in terms of vacations, but in your life. Your answer to that question does a lot to determine whether or not you’re successful. You see, we’re all on a journey, whether we know it or not. We are traveling inevitably toward the ends of our lives. So the real question for us is whether we’re going to select a destination and steer a course for it, or allow ourselves to be swept along with the tide, letting others determine where we’ll end up. The choice is entirely up to us.
When people wanted to kill a bear in the ancient times, they hung a heavy log over a bowl of honey. The bear would push the log away in order to eat the honey. The log would swing back and hit the bear. The bear would become irritated and push the log even harder, and it would return and hit him harder in return. This would continue until the log killed the bear. People behave in the same way when they return evil for the evil they receive from other people. Can’t people be wiser than bears?
— A Calendar of Wisdom: Daily Thoughts to Nourish the Soul, Written and Selected from the World’s Sacred Texts by Leo Tolstoy (translated by Peter Sekirin)