Wednesday

August 17

SUCH there be, who when they have done a good turn to any, are ready to set them on the score for it, and to require retaliation. Others there be, who though they stand not upon retaliation, to require any, yet they think with themselves nevertheless, that such a one is their debtor, and they know (as their word is) what they have done. Others again there be, who when they have done any such thing, do not so much as know what they have done; but are like unto the vine, which beareth her grapes, and when once she hath borne her own proper fruit, is contented and seeks for no further recompense. As a horse after a race, and a hunting dog when he hath hunted, and a bee when she hath made her honey, look not for applause and commendation; so neither doth that man that rightly doth understand his own nature when he hath done a good turn: but from one doth proceed to do another, even as the vine after she hath once borne fruit in her own proper season, is ready for another time. Thou therefore must be one of them, who what they do, barely do it without any further thought, and are in a manner insensible of what they do.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book v. 6.

4 comments:

  1. It must be our nature to give and to do. Whether we get recognition or appreciation for it matter not as we have acted according to our nature. This reminds me of the concept of holding everything with an open hand. It matters not whether we are recognized or acknowledged but that we know that we have been our best selves in acting or giving.

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  2. Some are good like a mirror. They expect the good they do to be reflected back on them in glory and honour. Some are good like a creditor. They expect the good they do to paid back, and with interest. Some are good like a grape-vine. The good they do is because of who they are, and having produced the fruit, are ready to do so again. I will be the vine. - Inspired by Marcus Aurelius.

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  4. The last thing a free (wo)man does is to look for recognition, for freedom wishes nothing that would turn her into a slave.

    Until we are in peace with the whole of mankind, however they may act, not feeling troubled by praise or offence, we are not yet aware of our true nature. For, as long as we feel offended or in need of applause, our offenders or admirers, just as we ourselves, neither know who we are nor what is our very own freedom.

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