Meditations Book 1 by Marcus Aurelius, a reflection.
“For Maximus… a nice balance of character, both gentle and dignified; and to do what was set before me without complaining.”Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 1. 15.1
Meditations Book 1
The first book of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations is a catalog of people who helped him to become the person he is. He offers his gratitude to individuals who improved and made a positive impact on his life. Marcus also mentions what he exactly admires in each person.
One of the persons he thanks is Maximus. He is a Roman politician, a Stoic philosopher, and a teacher of Marcus Aurelius.
Maximus has a balance of moral character, both dignified and gentle. Marcus find that trait admirable. At the time of his reign, he did the same. In spite of having a difficult time dealing with senators, he clears away harshnesses and anomalies in the civil law. He also refines the structure of society. He does not want to reward or make a judgment that is too much or too less. He only gives what is due.
Also, Maximus influenced Marcus to do what is set before him without complaining. Marcus has a great power and responsibility. He is both an imperator, a military commander, and a Pontifex Maximus, supreme priest. To complain and to make a fuss will only waste his time and will not help him perform his responsibility well.
Balance of Character.
In the first book of the Meditations, Marcus Aurelius reminds us with these three things :
First, making a fuss out of something instead of working is not a proven strategy to be productive. To complain that we have too many unfinished tasks will not only keep them pending, but it will also pile up even more. When a task or responsibility is given to us, we have to do what we have to.
Second, when we are working with people who are difficult to deal with, let us keep our balance. Let us be both gentle and dignified. Be gentle but not easily taken advantage of. And be dignified but not harsh.
Third, Marcus Aurelius is the sum of the positive influences of important people in his life. We are like Marcus too. Important people in our lives give us positive impacts that mold us to whoever we are today. So let us express our gratitude to people who helped us to become a better version of ourselves. We owe a lot to them.
To keep our focus on the tasks at hand, find the nice balance of our character, and be grateful to people who taught us good things in life. Surely, these improved the quality of life of Marcus Aurelius.
Let us keep in mind these three things, in hope, these can improve our lives too.
If you will be given a chance to offer your gratitude, to whom will you offer it, and why?
If you are shy to tell that to that person, comment your answers below!
1. The Meditations By Marcus Aurelius.
2. The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living.
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The goal of my book series is the same goal I have expressed in Why Do I Write.
My 2020 goal is to read a book per month; share with people what I learn from and feel about the book. For July 2020, the book I read is the Meditations By Marcus Aurelius.
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