My Java Journal

On Sagacity: Why Can’t We Get This?


sagacity. the quality of being sagacious. (Oxford Dictionary of English)

sagacious. having or showing keen mental discernment and good judgement; wise or shrewd. (Oxford Dictionary of English)

The Sagacity Of Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius is a relevant and important source to access during a pandemic. I offer an interesting read with this (linked) Guardian article – Stoicism in a time of pandemic: how Marcus Aurelius can help. I would offer that the sagacity of Marcus Aurelius is also helpful in these trying times we now find ourselves, concurrent to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.” – Marcus Aurelius

Seems so simple, doesn’t it?

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius

If we each did this daily, perhaps our context and approach to life, and each other, would be more respectful and kind.

“Execute every act of thy life as though it were thy last.” – Marcus Aurelius

Would you then allow ire and hate to potentially be your last act, or would you rather kindle kindness and love?

“If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it” – Marcus Aurelius

It’s never to late to adopt and execute such reason.

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.” – Marcus Aurelius

Be sure to think good thoughts.

“Our best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.” – Marcus Aurelius

Obversely, I would suggest that this is similar to the Golden Rule. No? Treat others as you would be treated.

“When thou art above measure angry, bethink thee how momentary is man’s life.” – Marcus Aurelius

We are here for so little time, why sour it with anger and hate, envy and greed. We should be starting to realize now how powerful and fulfilling is the simple act of a hug, and the need for kindness.

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” – Marcus Aurelius

Two Millennia Of Known Wisdom

Not everything Marcus Aurelius said was so simple and easy to adopt or incorporate into one’s life. You may not relate with all his writings or thoughts. That’s okay. He is only one philosopher, Stoic in this instance, that offers such simple and sage insight. If we’ve known these truths, or at least have had them available to us for some two millennia, then why is it still so hard to get along?

Applying That Wisdom

I choose love. To keep it simple. And to try to be a good man.

I will falter, and speak poorly at times. With absolute certainty I have made many mistakes to this point. I only wish I had taken stock earlier, of the profound wisdom found in antiquity, and throughout history.

Here it is. Perhaps a start point for some, a continuation for others, a refresh or reminder for the already acquainted. Take it. Explore it. Contemplate it and adopt it. Your journey may take you through religious paths, or other philosophies. Perhaps you’ll find yourself exploring psychology or mythology. Wherever it takes you, be open, be deliberate, be broad in the views you expose yourself to and the ideas you absorb.

When in doubt, choose love.

And gratitude.

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