Friday Filosophy v.11.25.2022

Friday Filosophy v.11.25.2022

In Friday Filosophy v.11.25.2022, our founder Ron Slee shares quotes and words of wisdom from Mohandas Gandhi.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi; 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist and political ethicist who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s independence from British rule, and to later inspire movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahatma (Sanskrit: “great-souled”, “venerable”), first applied to him in 1914 in South Africa, is now used throughout the world. 

Born and raised in a Hindu family in coastal Gujarat, Gandhi trained in the law at the Inner Temple, London, and was called to the bar at age 22 in June 1891. After two uncertain years in India, where he was unable to start a successful law practice, he moved to South Africa in 1893 to represent an Indian merchant in a lawsuit. He went on to live in South Africa for 21 years. It was here that Gandhi raised a family and first employed nonviolent resistance in a campaign for civil rights. In 1915, aged 45, he returned to India and soon set about organizing peasants, farmers, and urban laborers to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination.

Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women’s rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, and, above all, achieving swaraj or self-rule. Gandhi adopted the short dhoti woven with hand-spun yarn as a mark of identification with India’s rural poor. He began to live in a self-sufficient residential community, to eat simple food, and undertake long fasts as a means of both introspection and political protest. Bringing anti-colonial nationalism to the common Indians, Gandhi led them in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km (250 mi) Dandi Salt March in 1930 and in calling for the British to quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned many times and for many years in both South Africa and India.

Gandhi’s vision of an independent India based on religious pluralism was challenged in the early 1940s by a Muslim nationalism which demanded a separate homeland for Muslims within British India. In August 1947, Britain granted independence, but the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two dominions, a Hindu-majority India and a Muslim-majority Pakistan. As many displaced Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs made their way to their new lands, religious violence broke out, especially in the Punjab and Bengal. Abstaining from the official celebration of independence, Gandhi visited the affected areas, attempting to alleviate distress. In the months following, he undertook several hunger strikes to stop the religious violence. The last of these, begun in Delhi on 12 January 1948 when he was 78, also had the indirect goal of pressuring India to pay out some cash assets owed to Pakistan. Although the Government of India relented, as did the religious rioters, the belief that Gandhi had been too resolute in his defense of both Pakistan and Indian Muslims, especially those besieged in Delhi, spread among some Hindus in India. Among these was Nathuram Godse, a militant Hindu nationalist from western India, who assassinated Gandhi by firing three bullets into his chest at an interfaith prayer meeting in Delhi on 30 January 1948. 

Gandhi’s birthday, 2 October, is commemorated in India as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence. Gandhi is commonly, though not formally, considered the Father of the Nation in India and was commonly called Bapu (Gujarati: endearment for father, papa).

  • Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
  • You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
  • Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
  • Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment.
  • The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
  • You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
  • A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
  • A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.
  • There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.
  • I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.
  • You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.
  • Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?
  • Morality is the basis of things and truth is the substance of all morality.
  • There is more to life than increasing its speed.
  • Man’s nature is not essentially evil. Brute nature has been known to yield to the influence of love. You must never despair of human nature.
  • All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.
  • Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.


The Time is Now

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Friday Filosophy v.11.11.2022

Friday Filosophy v.11.11.2022

In Friday Filosophy v.11.11.2022, our Founder, Ron Slee, shares quotes and words of wisdom from the Buddha.

Gautama Buddha (also Siddhartha Gautama, Siddhartha Gotama; Shakyamuni, Sakkamuni; and The Buddha) was an ascetic and spiritual teacher of South Asia who lived during the 6th or 5th century BCE. He was the founder of Buddhism and is revered by Buddhists as a fully enlightened being who taught a path to Nirvanafreedom from ignorancecravingrebirth and suffering.

According to Buddhist tradition, the Buddha was born in Lumbini in what is now Nepal, to highborn parents of the Shakya clan, but abandoned his family to live as a wandering ascetic. Leading a life of beggingasceticism, and meditation, he attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. The Buddha thereafter wandered through the lower Gangetic plain, teaching and building a monastic order. He taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and severe asceticism, a training of the mind that included ethical training and meditative practices such as effortmindfulness, and jhana. He died in Kushinagar, attaining Para nirvana. The Buddha has since been venerated by numerous religions and communities across Asia.

Several centuries after the Buddha’s death, his teachings were compiled by the Buddhist community in the Vinaya, his codes for monastic practice, and the Suttas, texts based on his discourses. These were passed down in Middle Indo-Aryan dialects through an oral tradition. Later generations composed additional texts, such as systematic treatises known as Abhidharma, biographies of the Buddha, collections of stories about his past lives known as Jataka tales, and additional discourses, i.e. the Mahayana sutras. 

Most of them accept that the Buddha lived, taught, and founded a monastic order during the Mahajan pada era and during the reign of Bimbi Sara (c.558 – c.491 BCE, or c. 400 BCE), the ruler of the Magadha empire, and died during the early years of the reign of Ajatashatru, who was the successor of Bimbi Sara, thus making him a younger contemporary of Mahavira, the Jain tirthankara. There is less consensus on the veracity of many details contained in traditional biographies, as ” “Buddhist scholars […] have mostly given up trying to understand the historical person.” 

The dates of Gautama’s birth and death are uncertain. Most historians in the early 20th century dated his lifetime as c.563 BCE to 483 BCE. Within the Eastern Buddhist tradition of China, Vietnam, Korea and Japan, the traditional date for the death of the Buddha was 949 BCE. According to the Ka-tan system of time calculation in the Kalachakra tradition, Buddha is believed to have died about 833 BCE.[31] More recently his death is dated later, between 411 and 400 BCE, while at a symposium on this question held in 1988, the majority of those who presented definite opinions gave dates within 20 years either side of 400 BCE for the Buddha’s death. These alternative chronologies, however, have not been accepted by all historians. 

  • Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
  • Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
  • Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
  • We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.
  • Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
  • It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.
  • You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.
  • With fools, there is no companionship. Rather than to live with men who are selfish, vain, quarrelsome, and obstinate, let a man walk alone.
  • Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.
  • Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.
  • A woman of the world is anxious to exhibit her form and shape, whether walking, standing, sitting, or sleeping. Even when represented as a picture, she desires to captivate with the charms of her beauty and, thus, to rob men of their steadfast heart.
  • However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?
  • I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.
  • Without health life is not life; it is only a state of langour and suffering – an image of death.

The Time is Now

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Friday Filosophy v.11.04.2022

Friday Filosophy v.11.04.2022

Friday Filosophy v.11.04.2022 brings quotes and words of wisdom from the Chinese philosopher and poet, Lao Tzu.

Lao Tzu was an ancient Chinese philosopher and poet, well-known for penning the book Tao Te Ching. He was the founder of philosophy of Taoism, a religious and ethical custom of ancient China. He is largely respected as a religious deity in various traditional Chinese religious schools of thought. He is also believed by some to be an older contemporary of the famous philosopher Confucius.

Lao Tzu’s journey began as he set foot towards the western border of China, currently Tibet. He was saddened by what he saw around him: men being diverted away from nature and the goodness it brings. A guard he met on the border asked Lao to write down his teachings as he went. This is when he wrote the famous Tao Te Ching, a 5,000-character account of his thoughts and philosophical ideas.

Like various ancient Chinese philosophers, Lao Tzu made use of rhyme and rhythm, paradoxes and interesting analogies to get his point across in Tao Te Ching. In reality, the entire book can be considered as one great analogy.

The ‘Tao Te Ching’, literally meaning ‘The Way and Its Power’ presents the idea of ‘Tao’ as being the end all and be all of existence. It is extremely powerful, yet down to earth. It is the source of all being in the world. The book intends to guide people on how to return to the laws and ways of nature to maintain the balance of the Tao.

Tzu is also the father of the Taoist philosophy. Taoism, along with Buddhism and Confucianism, is the pillar of ancient Chinese thought. It is not only a customary philosophy, but it has also taken the shape of a properly organized religion. Though the two elements of religion and philosophy are separate, they are profoundly connected. Lao Tzu’s teachings have encompassed the depths of both.

Taoism focuses on leading life according to ‘Tao’ or ‘the path’. It encapsulates moral, ethical and religious Chinese customs. Tao is a concept not exclusive to Taoism; it is also found in various other Chinese philosophies. In Taoism however, it plays a major role. As per Taoism, Tao is deep and overwhelming; it is the all-encompassing. It is both the cause and the effect of every existing thing in the world.

Lao Tzu’s philosophy was a simple one. He was against putting effort and striving, as he thought struggle is not only futile but also hinders productivity. In his theory of ‘wu-wei’, he advises to simply do nothing. By this he means not to go against the forces of nature, wait for the gush of events nature brings to you and dive right in. He advised not to struggle to change the natural order of things, but to bring spontaneity to one’s actions as one holds on to the nature’s way of life. Followers of Taoism believe that striving for nothing will never lead them to failure. The one who has never failed is always successful, thus becoming powerful.

By understanding this principle, Taoist debates against Confucianism and its endeavors at domination and standardization of all aspects of life, and strives for a lone, deep meditation among nature. Taoists believed that through contemplation, nature will grant them the keys unlocking the powers of the universe. The logic of ‘doing nothing and achieving everything’ reached the rulers and affected the way the kings treated the masses. Thus, in a subtle way, Taoism took shape of a political philosophy.

Lao Tzu’s works have continued to influence individuals and anti-authoritarian campaigns around the world. Belonging to the sixth century, Lao Tzu, a title given to the great philosopher meaning ‘Old Teacher’, taught the world the importance of the ways of nature and how embracing the principle of doing nothing can help achieve everything.

  • A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.
  • Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
  • Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
  • To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.
  • Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
  • Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
  • Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.
  • When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.
  • When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
  • He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.
  • Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.
  • I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.
  • Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.
  • In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.
  • At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.

The Time is Now

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Friday Filosophy v.10.21.2022

Friday Filosophy v.10.21.2022

In Friday Filosophy v.10.21.2022, Founder Ron Slee shares quotes and words of wisdom from the economist Ken Galbraith.

John Kenneth Galbraith OC (October 15, 1908 – April 29, 2006), also known as Ken Galbraith, was a Canadian-American economist, diplomat, public official, and intellectual. His books on economic topics were bestsellers from the 1950s through the 2000s. As an economist, he leaned toward post-Keynesian economics from an institutionalist perspective

Galbraith was a long-time Harvard faculty member and stayed with Harvard University for half a century as a professor of economics. He was a prolific author and wrote four dozen books, including several novels, and published more than a thousand articles and essays on various subjects. Among his works was a trilogy on economics, American Capitalism (1952), The Affluent Society (1958), and The New Industrial State (1967). Some of his work has been criticized by economists Milton FriedmanPaul KrugmanRobert Solow, and Thomas Sowell.

Galbraith was active in Democratic Party politics, serving in the administrations of Franklin D. RooseveltHarry S. TrumanJohn F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson. He served as United States Ambassador to India under the Kennedy administration. His political activism, literary output and outspokenness brought him wide fame during his lifetime. Galbraith was one of the few to receive both the World War II Medal of Freedom (1946) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2000) for his public service and contributions to science. The government of France made him a Commandeur de la Légion d’honneur.

In autumn 1972, Galbraith was an adviser and assistant to Nixon’s rival candidate, Senator George McGovern, in the election campaign for the American presidency. During this time (September 1972) he travelled to China in his role as president of the American Economic Association (AEA) at the invitation of Mao Zedong‘s communist government, together with fellow economists Wassily Leontief and James Tobin. In 1973, Galbraith published an account of his experiences in A China Passage, writing that there was “no serious doubt that China is devising a highly effective economic system,” “dissidents are brought firmly into line in China, but, one suspects, with great politeness,” and “Greater Shanghai … has a better medical service than New York,”. He considered it not implausible that Chinese industrial and agricultural output was expanding annually at a rate of 10 to 11%.

In 1972 he served as president of the American Economic Association. The Journal of Post Keynesian Economics benefited from Galbraith’s support and he served as the chairman of its board from its beginning. 

During the shooting of The World at War, a British television documentary series (1973–74), Galbraith described his experiences in the Roosevelt war administration. Among other things, he spoke about the initial confusion during the first meeting of the major departmental leaders about kapok and its use. Galbraith also talked about rationing and especially about trickery during fuel allocation.

In December 1977, he met the Palauan senator Roman Tmetuchl and eventually became an unpaid adviser to the Palau Political Status Commission. He advocated for minimal financial requirement and infrastructure projects. In 1979 he addressed Palau’s legislature and participated in a seminar for the delegates to the Palau Constitutional Convention. He became the first person to earn honorary citizenship of Palau. 

In 1984, he visited the USSR, writing that the Soviet economy had made “great material progress” as, “in contrast to Western industrial economy,” the USSR “makes full use of its manpower.” 

In 1985, the American Humanist Association named him the Humanist of the Year. The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) conferred its 1987 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Asian Studies. 

In 1997 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2000 he was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom. He also was awarded an honorary doctorate from Memorial University of Newfoundland at the fall convocation of 1999, another contribution to the impressive collection of approximately fifty academic honorary degrees bestowed upon Galbraith. In 2000, he was awarded the Leontief Prize for his outstanding contribution to economic theory by the Global Development and Environment Institute. The library in his hometown of Dutton, Ontario was renamed the John Kenneth Galbraith Reference Library in honor of his attachment to the library and his contributions to the new building.

On April 29, 2006, Galbraith died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, of natural causes at the age of 97, after a two-week stay in a hospital. He is interred at Indian Hill Cemetery in Middletown, Connecticut.

  • Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s just the opposite.
  • The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
  • In economics, the majority is always wrong.
  • The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.
  • Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.
  • All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.
  • The enemy of the conventional wisdom is not ideas but the march of events.
  • Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.
  • We all agree that pessimism is a mark of superior intellect.
  • Wealth, in even the most improbable cases, manages to convey the aspect of intelligence.
  • We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had much.
  • Meetings are a great trap. Soon you find yourself trying to get agreement and then the people who disagree come to think they have a right to be persuaded. However, they are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.
  • Much literary criticism comes from people for whom extreme specialization is a cover for either grave cerebral inadequacy or terminal laziness, the latter being a much cherished aspect of academic freedom.

The Time is Now.

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Friday Filosophy v.09.09.2022

Friday Filosophy v.09.09.2022

Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LGOMDStJPCFRSHonFRSC (née Roberts; 13 October 1925 – 8 April 2013), was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. The longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century, she was the first woman to hold that office. As prime minister, she implemented policies that became known as Thatcherism. A Soviet journalist dubbed her the “Iron Lady”, a nickname that became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style.

Thatcher studied chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford, and worked briefly as a research chemist, before becoming a barrister. She was elected Member of Parliament for Finchley in 1959Edward Heath appointed her Secretary of State for Education and Science in his 1970–1974 government. In 1975, she defeated Heath in the Conservative Party leadership election to become Leader of the Opposition, the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom.

On becoming prime minister after winning the 1979 general election, Thatcher introduced a series of economic policies intended to reverse high inflation and Britain’s struggles in the wake of the Winter of Discontent and an oncoming recession. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasized deregulation (particularly of the financial sector), the privatization of state-owned companies, and reducing the power and influence of trade unions. Her popularity in her first years in office waned amid recession and rising unemployment. Victory in the 1982 Falklands War and the recovering economy brought a resurgence of support, resulting in her landslide re-election in 1983. She survived an assassination attempt by the Provisional IRA in the 1984 Brighton hotel bombing and achieved a political victory against the National Union of Mineworkers in the 1984–85 miners’ strike.

Thatcher was re-elected for a third term with another landslide in 1987, but her subsequent support for the Community Charge (“poll tax”) was widely unpopular, and her increasingly Eurosceptic views on the European Community were not shared by others in her cabinet. She resigned as prime minister and party leader in 1990, after a challenge was launched to her leadership. After retiring from the Commons in 1992, she was given a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher (of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire) which entitled her to sit in the House of Lords. In 2013, she died of a stroke at the Ritz Hotel, London, at the age of 87.

A polarizing figure in British politics, Thatcher is nonetheless viewed favorably in historical rankings and public opinion of British prime ministers. Her tenure constituted a realignment towards neoliberal policies in Britain, with the complicated legacy attributed to Thatcherism debated into the 21st century.

  • If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.
  • The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.
  • Power is like being a lady… if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.
  • If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.
  • Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.
  • Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.
  • I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.
  • Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.
  • I love argument, I love debate. I don’t expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that’s not their job.
  • It may be the cock that crows, but it is the hen that lays the eggs.
  • What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.
  • Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.
  • To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So, it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.
  • I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near.
  • If my critics saw me walking over the Thames, they would say it was because I couldn’t swim.
  • People think that at the top there isn’t much room. They tend to think of it as an Everest. My message is that there is tons of room at the top.
  • It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sake.
  • I’ve got a woman’s ability to stick to a job and get on with it when everyone else walks off and leaves it.
  • Every family should have the right to spend their money, after tax, as they wish, and not as the government dictates. Let us extend choice, extend the will to choose and the chance to choose.
  • It’s passionately interesting for me that the things that I learned in a small town, in a very modest home, are just the things that I believe have won the election.
  • Ought we not to ask the media to agree among themselves a voluntary code of conduct, under which they would not say or show anything which could assist the terrorists’ morale or their cause while the hijack lasted.
  • If… many influential people have failed to understand, or have just forgotten, what we were up against in the Cold War and how we overcame it, they are not going to be capable of securing, let alone enlarging, the gains that liberty has made. \
  • I owe nothing to Women’s Lib.

The time is now.

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Friday Filosophy v.08.26.2022

Friday Filosophy v.08.26.2022

Founder Ron Slee continues with the theme of Greek poets and writers with Friday Filosophy v.08.26.2022, the final installment for the month of August.

Menander; c. 342/41 – c. 290 BC was a Greek dramatist and the best-known representative of Athenian New Comedy. He wrote 108 comedies and took the prize at the Lenaia festival eight times. His record at the City Dionysia is unknown.

He was one of the most popular writers in antiquity, but his work was lost during the Middle Ages and is now known in highly fragmentary form, much of which was discovered in the 20th century. Only one play, Dyskolos, has survived almost complete.

Menander was the son of well-to-do parents; his father Diopeithes is identified by some with the Athenian general and governor of the Thracian Chersonese known from the speech of Demosthenes De Chersoneso. He presumably derived his taste for comic drama from his uncle Alexis

He was the friend, associate, and perhaps pupil of Theophrastus, and was on intimate terms with the Athenian dictator Demetrius of Phalerum. He also enjoyed the patronage of Ptolemy Soter, the son of Lagus, who invited him to his court. But Menander, preferring the independence of his villa in the Piraeus and the company of his mistress Glycera, refused. According to the note of a scholiast on the Ibis of Ovid, he drowned while bathing, and his countrymen honored him with a tomb on the road leading to Athens, where it was seen by Pausanias. Numerous supposed busts of him survive, including a well-known statue in the Vatican, formerly thought to represent Gaius Marius

His rival in dramatic art (and supposedly in the affections of Glycera) was Philemon, who appears to have been more popular. Menander, however, believed himself to be the better dramatist, and, according to Aulus Gellius, used to ask Philemon: “Don’t you feel ashamed whenever you gain a victory over me?” According to Caecilius of Calacte (Porphyry in EusebiusPraeparatio evangelica) Menander was accused of plagiarism, as his The Superstitious Man was taken from The Augur of Antiphanes, but reworkings and variations on a theme of this sort were commonplace and so the charge is a complicated one.

How long complete copies of his plays survived is unclear, although 23 of them, with commentary by Michael Psellus, were said to still have been available in Constantinople in the 11th century. He is praised by Plutarch (Comparison of Menander and Aristophanes) and Quintilian (Institutio Oratoria), who accepted the tradition that he was the author of the speeches published under the name of the Attic orator Charisius

An admirer and imitator of Euripides, Menander resembles him in his keen observation of practical life, his analysis of the emotions, and his fondness for moral maxims, many of which became proverbial: “The property of friends is common,” “Whom the gods love die young,” “Evil communications corrupt good manners” (from the Thaïs, quoted in 1 Corinthians 15:33). These maxims (chiefly monostichs) were afterwards collected, and, with additions from other sources, were edited as Menander’s One-Verse Maxims, a kind of moral textbook for the use of schools. 

The single surviving speech from his early play Drunkenness is an attack on the politician Callimedon, in the manner of Aristophanes, whose bawdy style was adopted in many of his plays.

Menander found many Roman imitators. EunuchusAndriaHeauton Timorumenos and Adelphi of Terence (called by Caesar “dimidiatus Menander”) were avowedly taken from Menander, but some of them appear to be adaptations and combinations of more than one play. Thus, in the Andria were combined Menander’s The Woman from Andros and The Woman from Perinthos, in the Eunuchus, The Eunuch and The Flatterer, while the Adelphi was compiled partly from Menander and partly from Diphilus. The original of Terence’s Hecyra (as of the Phormio) is generally supposed to be, not by Menander, but Apollodorus of Carystus. The Bacchides and Stichus of Plautus were probably based upon Menander’s The Double Deceiver and Brotherly-Loving Men, but the Poenulus does not seem to be from The Carthaginian, nor the Mostellaria from The Apparition, in spite of the similarity of titles. Caecilius Statius, Luscius Lanuvinus, Turpilius and Atilius also imitated Menander. He was further credited with the authorship of some epigrams of doubtful authenticity; the letters addressed to Ptolemy Soter and the discourses in prose on various subjects mentioned by the Suda are probably spurious. 

Most of Menander’s work did not survive the Middle Ages, except as short fragments. Federico da Montefeltro‘s library at Urbino reputedly had “tutte le opere”, a complete works, but its existence has been questioned and there are no traces after Cesare Borgia‘s capture of the city and the transfer of the library to the Vatican. 

Until the end of the 19th century, all that was known of Menander were fragments quoted by other authors and collected by Augustus Meineke (1855) and Theodor Kock, Comicorum Atticorum Fragmenta (1888). These consist of some 1650 verses or parts of verses, in addition to a considerable number of words quoted from Menander by ancient lexicographers. 

  • Bad company corrupts good character.
  • The character of a man is known from his conversations.
  • The sword the body wounds, sharp words the mind.
  • I call a fig a fig, a spade a spade.
  • We live, not as we wish to, but as we can.
  • He who labors diligently need never despair; for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor.
  • ‘Know thyself’ is a good saying, but not in all situations. In many it is better to say ‘know others.’
  • The chief beginning of evil is goodness in excess.
  • Intelligence, if it is clever in the direction of the better, is responsible for the greatest benefits of all.
  • It is not white hair that engenders wisdom.
  • Riches cover a multitude of woes.
  • Whom the gods love dies young.
  • Old men are children for the second time.
  • The person who has the will to undergo all labor may win any goal.
  • The Truth, sometimes not sought for, comes forth to the light.
  • ‘Tis always best to tell the truth. At every crisis, I recommend this as a chief contribution to security in life.
  • Let bravery be thy choice, but not bravado.
  • Even God lends a hand to honest boldness

The Time is Now.

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Friday Filosophy v.08.12.2022

Friday Filosophy v.08.12.2022

Friday Filosophy v.08.12.2022 shares quotes, words of wisdom, and thoughts for consideration from Euripedes.

Euripides; c.480 – c.406 BC) was a tragedian of classical Athens. Along with Aeschylus and Sophocles, he is one of the three ancient Greek tragedians for whom any plays have survived in full. Some ancient scholars attributed ninety-five plays to him, but the Suda says it was ninety-two at most. Of these, eighteen or nineteen have survived more or less complete (Rhesus is suspect). There are many fragments (some substantial) of most of his other plays. More of his plays have survived intact than those of Aeschylus and Sophocles together, partly because his popularity grew as theirs declined – he became, in the Hellenistic Age, a cornerstone of ancient literary education, along with HomerDemosthenes, and Menander. 

Euripides is identified with theatrical innovations that have profoundly influenced drama down to modern times, especially in the representation of traditional, mythical heroes as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. This new approach led him to pioneer developments that later writers adapted to comedy, some of which are characteristic of romance. He also became “the most tragic of poets”, focusing on the inner lives and motives of his characters in a way previously unknown. He was “the creator of … that cage which is the theatre of Shakespeare’s Othello, Racine’s Phèdre, of Ibsen and Strindberg,” in which “imprisoned men and women destroy each other by the intensity of their loves and hates”. But he was also the literary ancestor of comic dramatists as diverse as Menander and George Bernard Shaw

His contemporaries associated him with Socrates as a leader of a decadent intellectualism. Both were frequently lampooned by comic poets such as Aristophanes. Socrates was eventually put on trial and executed as a corrupting influence. Ancient biographies hold that Euripides chose a voluntary exile in old age, dying in Macedonia, but recent scholarship casts doubt on these sources.


Traditional accounts of the author’s life are found in many commentaries, and include details such as these: He was born on Salamis Island around 480 BC, with parents Cleito (mother) and Mnesarchus (father), a retailer who lived in a village near Athens. On receiving an oracle that his son was fated to win “crowns of victory”, Mnesarchus insisted that the boy should train for a career in athletics. But the boy was destined for a career on the stage (where he was to win only five victories, one of these posthumously). He served for a short time as both dancer and torch-bearer at the rites of Apollo Zosterius. His education was not confined to athletics, studying also painting and philosophy under the masters Prodicus and Anaxagoras. He had two disastrous marriages, and both his wives—Melite and Choerine (the latter bearing him three sons)—were unfaithful. He became a recluse, making a home for himself in a cave on Salamis (the Cave of Euripides, where a cult of the playwright developed after his death). “There he built an impressive library and pursued daily communion with the sea and sky”. The details of his death are uncertain. It was traditionally held that he retired to the “rustic court” of King Archelaus in Macedonia, where he died in 406 BC, but modern scholarship is skeptical of these claims. It is possible that in reality he never visited Macedonia at all, or if he did, he might have been drawn there by King Archelaus with incentives that were also offered to other artists. 

  • He is not a lover who does not love forever. 
  • To a father growing old nothing is dearer than a daughter.
  • The greatest pleasure of life is love.
  • Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.
  • One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.
  • Those whom God wishes to destroy; he first makes mad.
  • Much effort, much prosperity.
  • Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness.
  • The good and the wise lead quiet lives.
  • Silence is true wisdom’s best reply.
  • The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.
  • Love makes the time pass. Time makes love pass.
  • Nothing has more strength than dire necessity.
  • No one is truly free, they are a slave to wealth, fortune, the law, or other people restraining them from acting according to their will.
  • Cleverness is not wisdom.
  • Who so neglects learning in his youth, loses the past and is dead for the future.
  • There is something in the pang of change More than the heart can bear, Unhappiness remembering happiness.
  • But learn that to die is a debt we must all pay.
  • It’s not beauty but fine qualities, my girl, that keep a husband.
  • Along with success comes a reputation for wisdom.
  • Lucky that man whose children make his happiness in life and not his grief, the anguished disappointment of his hopes.
  • Forgive, son; men are men; they needs must err. 

The Time is Now

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Friday Filosophy v.08.05.2022

Friday Filosophy v.08.05.2022

In Friday Filosophy v.08.05.2022, founder and managing member Ron Slee shares quotes and thoughts for consideration from Aeschylus.

Aeschylus was born in c. 525 BC in Eleusis, a small town about 27 km northwest of Athens, in the fertile valleys of western Attica. Some scholars argue that his date of birth may be based on counting back forty years from his first victory in the Great Dionysia. His family was wealthy and well established. His father, Euphorion, was said to be a member of the Eupatridae, the ancient nobility of Attica, but this might be a fiction invented by the ancients to account for the grandeur of Aeschylus’ plays. 

As a youth, Aeschylus worked at a vineyard until, according to the 2nd-century AD geographer Pausanias, the god Dionysus visited him in his sleep and commanded him to turn his attention to the nascent art of tragedy. As soon as he woke, he began to write a tragedy, and his first performance took place in 499 BC, when he was 26 years old. He won his first victory at the City Dionysia in 484 BC. 

In 510 BC, when Aeschylus was 15 years old, Cleomenes I expelled the sons of Peisistratus from Athens, and Cleisthenes came to power. Cleisthenes’ reforms included a system of registration that emphasized the importance of the deme over family tradition. In the last decade of the 6th century, Aeschylus and his family were living in the deme of Eleusis. 

The Persian Wars played a large role in Aeschylus’ life and career. In 490 BC, he and his brother Cynegeirus fought to defend Athens against the invading army of Darius I of Persia at the Battle of Marathon. The Athenians emerged triumphant, and the victory was celebrated across the city-states of Greece. Cynegeirus was killed while trying to prevent a Persian ship retreating from the shore, for which his countrymen extolled him as a hero. 

In 480 BC, Aeschylus was called into military service again, together with his younger brother Ameinias, against Xerxes I‘s invading forces at the Battle of Salamis. Aeschylus also fought at the Battle of Plataea in 479 BC. Ion of Chios was a witness for Aeschylus’ war record and his contribution in Salamis. Salamis holds a prominent place in The Persians, his oldest surviving play, which was performed in 472 BC and won first prize at the Dionysia

Aeschylus was one of many Greeks who were initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries, an ancient cult of Demeter based in his home town of Eleusis. According to Aristotle, Aeschylus was accused of asebeia (impiety) for revealing some of the cult’s secrets on stage. 

Other sources claim that an angry mob tried to kill Aeschylus on the spot but he fled the scene. Heracleides of Pontus asserts that the audience tried to stone Aeschylus. Aeschylus took refuge at the altar in the orchestra of the Theater of Dionysus. He pleaded ignorance at his trial. He was acquitted, with the jury sympathetic to the military service of him and his brothers during the Persian Wars. According to the 2nd-century AD author Aelian, Aeschylus’ younger brother Ameinias helped to acquit Aeschylus by showing the jury the stump of the hand he had lost at Salamis, where he was voted bravest warrior. The truth is that the award for bravery at Salamis went not to Aeschylus’ brother but to Ameinias of Pallene. 

Aeschylus travelled to Sicily once or twice in the 470s BC, having been invited by Hiero I, tyrant of Syracuse, a major Greek city on the eastern side of the island. He produced The Women of Aetna during one of these trips (in honor of the city founded by Hieron), and restaged his Persians. By 473 BC, after the death of Phrynichus, one of his chief rivals, Aeschylus was the yearly favorite in the Dionysia, winning first prize in nearly every competition. In 472 BC, Aeschylus staged the production that included the Persians, with Pericles serving as choregos.

Aeschylus married and had two sons, Euphorion and Euaeon, both of whom became tragic poets. Euphorion won first prize in 431 BC in competition against both Sophocles and Euripides. A nephew of Aeschylus, Philocles (his sister’s son), was also a tragic poet, and won first prize in the competition against Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. Aeschylus had at least two brothers, Cynegeirus and Ameinias.

The death of Aeschylus illustrated in the 15th century Florentine Picture Chronicle by Maso Finiguerra

In 458 BC, Aeschylus returned to Sicily for the last time, visiting the city of Gela, where he died in 456 or 455 BC. Valerius Maximus wrote that he was killed outside the city by a tortoise dropped by an eagle (possibly a lammergeier or Cinereous vulture, which do open tortoises for eating by dropping them on hard objects[24]) which had mistaken his head for a rock suitable for shattering the shell. Pliny, in his Naturalis Historiæ, adds that Aeschylus had been staying outdoors to avoid a prophecy that he would be killed by a falling object, but this story may be legendary and due to a misunderstanding of the iconography on Aeschylus’s tomb. Aeschylus’ work was so respected by the Athenians that after his death his tragedies were the only ones allowed to be restaged in subsequent competitions. His sons Euphorion and Euæon and his nephew Philocles also became playwrights. 

The inscription on Aeschylus’ gravestone makes no mention of his theatrical renown, commemorating only his military achievements:

  • He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God. 
  • Obedience is the mother of success and is wedded to safety. 
  • I have learned to hate all traitors, and there is no disease that I spit on more than treachery. 
  • From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow. 
  • It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath. 
  • Whoever is new to power is always harsh. 
  • It is best for the wise man not to seem wise. 
  • Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times. 
  • There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief. 
  • Memory is the mother of all wisdom. 
  • Death is softer by far than tyranny. 
  • It is always in season for old men to learn. 
  • God lends a helping hand to the man who tries hard. 
  • God’s most lordly gift to man is decency of mind. 
  • God loves to help him who strives to help himself. 
  • It is an easy thing for one whose foot is on the outside of calamity to give advice and to rebuke the sufferer. 
  • But time growing old teaches all things. 
  • It is easy when we are in prosperity to give advice to the afflicted. 
  • Married love between man and woman is bigger than oaths guarded by right of nature. 
  • The words of truth are simple. 
  • And one who is just of his own free will shall not lack for happiness; and he will never come to utter ruin. 
  • Too few rejoice at a friend’s good fortune. 
  • Who, except the gods, can live time through forever without any pain?

The time is now.

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Friday Filosophy v.07.29.2022

Friday Filosophy v.07.29.2022

Founder and managing member Ron Slee shares quotes and thoughts for consideration from Aesop, the fable writer, in Friday Filosophy v.07.29.2022.

Aesop, 620–564 BCE, was a Greek fabulist and storyteller credited with a number of fables now collectively known as Aesop’s Fables. Although his existence remains unclear and no writings by him survive, numerous tales credited to him were gathered across the centuries and in many languages in a storytelling tradition that continues to this day. Many of the tales associated with him are characterized by anthropomorphic animal characters.

Scattered details of Aesop’s life can be found in ancient sources, including AristotleHerodotus, and Plutarch. An ancient literary work called The Aesop Romance tells an episodic, probably highly fictional version of his life, including the traditional description of him as a strikingly ugly slave who by his cleverness acquires freedom and becomes an adviser to kings and city-states. Older spellings of his name have included Esop(e) and Isope. Depictions of Aesop in popular culture over the last 2,500 years have included many works of art and his appearance as a character in numerous books, films, plays, and television programs. 

The name of Aesop is as widely known as any that has come down from Graeco-Roman antiquity [yet] it is far from certain whether a historical Aesop ever existed … in the latter part of the fifth century something like a coherent Aesop legend appears, and Samos seems to be its home.

The earliest Greek sources, including Aristotle, indicate that Aesop was born around 620 BCE in the Greek colony of Mesembria. A number of later writers from the Roman imperial period (including Phaedrus, who adapted the fables into Latin) say that he was born in Phrygia. The 3rd-century poet Callimachus called him “Aesop of Sardis,” and the later writer Maximus of Tyre called him “the sage of Lydia.” 

From Aristotle and Herodotus we learn that Aesop was a slave in Samos and that his masters were first a man named Xanthus and then a man named Iadmon; that he must eventually have been freed, because he argued as an advocate for a wealthy Samian; and that he met his end in the city of DelphiPlutarch tells us that Aesop had come to Delphi on a diplomatic mission from King Croesus of Lydia, that he insulted the Delphians, was sentenced to death on a trumped-up charge of temple theft, and was thrown from a cliff (after which the Delphians suffered pestilence and famine). Before this fatal episode, Aesop met with Periander of Corinth, where Plutarch has him dining with the Seven Sages of Greece, sitting beside his friend Solon, whom he had met in Sardis. (Leslie Kurke suggests that Aesop himself “was a popular contender for inclusion” in the list of Seven Sages.) 

Aesop may not have written his fables. The Aesop Romance claims that he wrote them down and deposited them in the library of Croesus; Herodotus calls Aesop a “writer of fables” and Aristophanes speaks of “reading” Aesop, but that might simply have been a compilation of fables ascribed to him. Various Classical authors name Aesop as the originator of fables. Sophocles, in a poem addressed to Euripides, made reference to the North Wind and the SunSocrates while in prison turned some of the fables into verse, of which Diogenes Laërtius records a small fragment. The early Roman playwright and poet Ennius also rendered at least one of Aesop’s fables in Latin verse, of which the last two lines still exist.  

  • No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
  • We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
  • The level of our success is limited only by our imagination and no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.
  • Every truth has two sides; it is as well to look at both, before we commit ourselves to either.
  • It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.
  • Appearances are often deceiving.
  • Slow but steady wins the race.
  • Persuasion is often more effectual than force.
  • Please all, and you will please none.
  • It is thrifty to prepare today for the wants of tomorrow.
  • A doubtful friend is worse than a certain enemy. Let a man be one thing or the other, and we then know how to meet him.
  • Self-conceit may lead to self-destruction.
  • He that always gives way to others will end in having no principles of his own.
  • Affairs are easier of entrance than of exit; and it is but common prudence to see our way out before we venture in.

The Time is Now.

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Swap Stress for Serenity

Swap Stress for Serenity

Founder and managing member Ron Slee writes today about the need for greater calm in our daily lives, and trying to find a way to swap stress for serenity.

It has long been a goal of mine: to find serenity in my life. 

As time has passed and that goal of serenity continues to be elusive, I am adjusting and adapting my outlook. Serenity just isn’t in the cards for me. I have much too busy a mind. Perhaps it is a reflection of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), or some other acronym that I can blame or use as an excuse. It really doesn’t matter.

As many of you who follow me know I am taken by a book titled “Indistractable” by Nir Eyal. I am learning, yes at long last, how to better manage my time and accomplish things. I was being much too precise in how I managed my To Do List. Now I have assigned “Time Blocks” to my life and it seems to be working better for me.

Can I really move from stress to serenity? Putting the two words together like that has helped all by itself. There is stress, for me, associated with a specific goal and a specific time allocation. I suspect the same is true for you as well. How does that become stressful? Our minds seem to work on deadlines. When we are up against a deadline, our To Do List, we feel stress. It seems that this is all very normal. We get interruptions all the time and those get in the way of our To Do List. More Stress. As a result of that realization, I went to time blocks. I assign the work I want to accomplish a block of time. No goal just a block of time. I have been trying to assign eight hours of time to work and sixteen hours or time to life. Imagine that?

It seemed weird looking at it. I had assigned all of the work elements I needed to get done in my work day. 

  1. One hour of email and social media 
  2. One hour on product development for LWS
  3. One hour for sales calls for LWS
  4. Half an hour to work on the quarterly newsletter
  5. Half an hour working on advisory boards
  6. One hour communication with the LWS team
  7. One hour of Zoom meetings

Total Eight Hours

Seems pretty simple yet rather strange looking at it, doesn’t it? Gone are finite goals with specific time lines. And after two or more weeks my level of stress has become much less problematic. I am calmer. Perhaps, dare I say it our loud, more serene.

The other sixteen hours are simple as well. Two hours for personal time. Exercise or reading or whatever it is that I want to do. Fourteen hours of living with my family and friends and sleeping.

When I look at it, I am stunned that it took me so long to come to this type of approach. It took a Behavioral Scientist to penetrate my thick head. I have been on this pursuit for most of my life. Finding easier ways to do things. Find my effectiveness or efficiency. My Industrial Engineering roots are showing. I was involved with Continuous Improvement as a teenager. I called it laziness. It wasn’t really. I was just trying to find a more effective way to do things. In fact, everything. It is in my genetic makeup.

At the same time many of you know I have been pushing a book called Ikigai. Which is the Japanese Pursuit of Happiness.

After all the only real goal to have in life is to be happy. To seek happiness. It has taken me a long time to get here but I am here now. The word “happy” dates back to the 14th Century when it was used to describe luck; someone who was “happy” was prosperous or favored by fortune. But as with many of you I had trouble and still do have trouble defining my understanding of my happiness. This concept can be very imprecise and perhaps that is what bothers me. There needs to be clarity and precision in things. Yet it turns out that there is no proven way to determine the factors of happiness or increase significantly a person’s level of happiness. That sounds like Don Quixote “tilting at windmills.” Perhaps that is why I have not achieved it. Don’t get me wrong I am a happy person. The glass is always more than half full. No matter what the problem is in my life or my work I can handle it. Nothing is too great an issue that it can’t be dealt with properly. 

And yet… What do you think? 

Care to join with me and swap some of your stress for more serenity? 

The Time is Now.

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