#38: On Anger (De Ira) May06


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#38: On Anger (De Ira)


#38: On Anger (De Ira)

Quotes that resonate, from ‘How to Keep Your Cool: An Ancient Guide to Anger Management’ by Seneca, selected, translated and introduced by James Romm.  

[Y]our anger is a kind of madness: because you set a huge price on worthless things.

Sextius used to do this, when at the day’s end, as he prepared himself for nighttime rest, he would ask his own mind:

“Which of your offenses have you cured today?
Which fault have you blocked?
In what are are you better?”

Anger will abate and become more temperate if it knows that it must come before a judge every day.

What could be a finer method of shaking off all that the day has brought? What a sleep follows after this inspection of oneself; how peaceful, deep and free of care – after the mind has been either praised or scolded, and the observer and hidden justicer of the self has searched one’s character! 

I become an inspector and reexamine the course of my day, my deeds and words; I hide nothing from myself, I omit nothing. 

There’s no reason my mistakes should give me cause to fear, as long as I say: “See that you don’t do that any more, but this time I forgive you. 

You spoke too combatively in that quarrel, so from now on don’t spend time with the ignorant; if they haven’t learnt by now, they don’t want to. 

You scolded that fellow with less restraint than you should have, and thus gave offense rather than helping him improve: next time consider not the truth of what you say but whether the one you say it to can endure the truth; good folk like to be chastised, but the worst sort find their preceptor very grating.”