Awareness & Sharing

“I have begun to be a friend to myself”

“No good thing is pleasant to possess, without friends to share it”

Letter 6 :On Sharing Knowledge


“I have begun to be a friend to myself”; my spirit is altered into something better, – that it can see its own faults, of which it was previously ignorant.


“No good thing is pleasant to possess, without friends to share it”; not merely that you may derive benefit, but that you may confer benefit.

You must go to the scene of action; as men put more faith in their eyes than in their ears; you derived more benefit from the character than from the words of men. The way is long if one follow precepts, but short & helpful, if one follows patterns.


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“One man means as much to me as a multitude, and a multitude only as much as one man.”

Letter 7 :On Crowds


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. Certainly, the greater the mob with which we mingle, the greater the danger. But nothing is so damaging to good character as the habit of lounging at the games; for then it is that vice steals subtly upon one through the avenue of pleasure.


The young character, which cannot hold fast to righteousness, must be rescued from the mob; it is too easy to side with the majority. Even Socrates & Cato, might have been shaken in their moral strength by a crowd that was unlike them; so true it is that none of us, no matter how much he cultivates his abilities, can withstand the shock of faults that approach, as it were, with so great a retinue.


You should not copy the bad simply because they are many, nor should you hate the many because they are unlike you. Withdraw into yourself, as far as you can. Associate with those who will make a better man of you. Welcome those whom you yourself can improve. The process is mutual; for men learn while they teach.


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