Daily Touch of Inspirations
October 14th: Don't get mad, help
Ryan Holiday, The 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living

Are you angry when someone's armpits stink or when their breath is bad? What would be the point? Having such a mouth and such armpits, there's going to be a smell emanating. You say, they must have sense, can't they tell how they are offending others? Well, you have sense too, congratulations! So, use your natural reason to awaken theirs, show them, call it out. If the person will listen you will have cured them without useless anger. No drama nor unseemly show required. — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 5.28

The person sitting next to you on the plane, the one who is loudly chattering and knocking around in your space? The one you're grinding your teeth about, hating from the depth of your soul because they're rude, ignorant, obnoxious? In these situations, you might feel it takes everything you have to restrain yourself from murdering them.

It's funny how that thought comes into our heads before, to stop, or making the minor scene of asking for a different seat. We'd rather be pissed off, bitter, raging inside than risk an awkward conversation that might actually help this person and make the world a better place. We don't just want people to be better, we expect it to magically happen — that we can simply will other people to change, burning holes into their skull with our angry stare.

Although when you think about it that way, it makes you wonder who the rude one actually is.


The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom Perseverance and Art of Living

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