Aurelius - Meditations 4.20 - On Receiving Praise

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4:20 – Everything in any way lovely is lovely of itself and terminates in itself, holding praise to be no part of itself. At all events, in no way does what is praised become better or worse. I say this also of what is commonly called lovely, for instance materials and works of art; and indeed what is there lacking at all to that which is truly lovely? No more than law, no more than truth, no more than kindness or reverence of self. Which of these is lovely because it is praised or corrupted because it is blamed? Does an emerald become worse than it was if it be not praised? And what of gold, ivory, purple, a lute, a sword-blade, a flower-bud, or a little plant?
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Aurelius - Meditations 4:8
What does not make a man worse than he was, neither makes his life worse than it was, nor hurts him without or within.
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Plato – The Crito
Then, my friend, we must not regard what the many say of us: but what he, the one man who has understanding of the just and unjust, will say, and what the truth will say. And therefore you begin in error when you suggest that we should regard the opinion of the many about the just and unjust, good and evil, honorable and dishonorable.
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Seneca – Letter #7
Lay these words to heart, Lucilius, that you may scorn the pleasure which comes from the applause of the majority. Many men praise you; but have you any reason for being pleased with yourself, if you are a person whom the many can understand? Your good qualities should face inwards.
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Rambam – Moreh ha’Nevuchim (Introduction)
[W]hen I have a difficult subject before me – when I find the road narrow, and can see no other way of teaching a well-established truth except by pleasing one intelligent man and displeasing ten thousand fools – I prefer to address myself to the one man, and to take no notice whatsoever of the condemnation of the multitude.
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Yirmiyahu 9:22-23
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Mishlei 27:14
One who blesses his friend in a loud voice early in the morning – it will be considered a curse for him.
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If you have questions, comments, or feedback, I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact me at rabbischneeweiss at gmail.
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Stoicism Resources:
Farquharson translation of The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
Gummere translation of Letters from a Stoic Master (Seneca)
Long translation of The Discourses of Epictetus
Carter translation of The Enchiridion (Handbook) of Epictetus
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