Cicero lead by the example of his life, and by all accounts he was ethical, moderate, and constantly strove to better himself and gain knowledge. Like other Romans, he believed that we all have a duty to society, and he took his personal and civic responsibilities seriously.
Consequently he set a great example of maturity and personal growth, and his advice is worth taking seriously today. I have gathered some of his best quotes into the post below. You can be sure that regardless of your age, you lack maturity if you do these 5 things:
1. You Are Overly Concerned About Your Appearance
"What an ugly beast the ape, and how like us."
"No other animal feels the beauty, elegance, symmetry, of the things that he sees; while by nature and reason, man, transferring these qualities from the eyes to the mind, considers that much more, even, are beauty, consistency, and order to be preserved in purposes and acts."
2. You Don't Control Your Emotions
"It is the peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the faults of others and to forget his own."
"Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide."
"Let your desires be ruled by reason. (Appetitus Rationi Pareat)"
"But whatever is right springs from one of four sources. It consists either in the perception and skilful treatment of the truth; or in maintaining good-fellowship with men, giving to every one his due, and keeping faith in contracts and promises; or in the greatness and strength of a lofty and unconquered mind; or in the order and measure that constitute moderation and temperance."
3. You Don't Take Your Responsibilities Seriously
"If you pursue good with labor, the labor passes away but the good remains; if you pursue evil with pleasure, the pleasure passes away and the evil remains."
"Nature too, by virtue of reason, brings man into relations of mutual intercourse and society with his fellow-men; generates in him a special love for his children; prompts him to promote and attend social gatherings and public assemblies; and awakens in him the desire to provide what may suffice for the support and nourishment, not of himself alone, but of his wife, his children, and others whom he holds dear and is bound to protect. This care rouses men’s minds, and makes them more efficient in action."
4. You Lack Gratitude
"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others."
"I never admire another's fortune so much that I became dissatisfied with my own."
"What is given to a good and grateful man yields us in return a revenue both from him and from others. For when one does not give at haphazard, generosity confers the highest pleasure."
"Of all nature's gifts to the human race, what is sweeter to a man than his children?"
5. You Don't Work on Improving Yourself
"For we are all attracted and drawn to a zeal for learning and knowing; and we think it glorious to excel therein, while we count it base and immoral to fall into error, to wander from the truth, to be ignorant, to be led astray."
"Above all, the search after truth and its eager pursuit are peculiar to man. And so, when we have leisure from the demands of business cares, we are eager to see, to hear, to learn something new, and we esteem a desire to know the secrets or wonders of creation as indispensable to a happy life. Thus we come to understand that what is true, simple, and genuine appeals most strongly to a man's nature. To this passion for discovering truth there is added a hungering, as it were, for independence, so that a mind well-moulded by Nature is unwilling to be, subject to anybody save one who gives rules of conduct or is a teacher of truth or who, for the general good, rules according to justice and law. From this attitude come greatness of soul and a sense of superiority to worldly conditions."
"A life of peace, purity, and refinement leads to a calm and untroubled old age."
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The Secret to Happiness: Stoic Gratitude and the Art of Living
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