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...what is unique to the good man?...

“Body. Soul. Mind.

Sensations: the body.

Desires: the soul.

Reasoning: the mind.

To experience sensations: even grazing beasts do that. To let your desires control you: even wild animals do that—and rutting humans, and tyrants (from Phalaris to Nero…).

To make your mind your guide to what seems best: even people who deny the gods do that. Even people who betray their country.

…If all the rest is common coin, then what is unique to the good man?

To welcome with affection what is sent by fate. Not to stain or disturb the spirit within him with a mess of false beliefs. Instead, to preserve it faithfully, by calmly obeying God—saying nothing untrue, doing nothing unjust. And if the others don’t acknowledge it—this life lived with simplicity, humility, cheerfulness—he doesn’t resent them for it, and isn’t deterred from following the road where it leads: to the end of life. An end to be approached in purity, in serenity, in acceptance, in peaceful unity with what must be.”

- Marcus Aurelius (Meditations, Book Three)


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