January 25, 2017 – The Only Prize

“What’s left to be prized? This, I think – to limit our action or inaction to only what’s in keeping with the needs of our own preparation . . . it’s what the exertions of education and teaching are all about – here is the thing to be prized! If you hold this firmly, you’ll stop trying to get yourself all the other things . . . If you don’t, you won’t be free, self-sufficient, or liberated from passion, but necessarily full of envy, jealousy, and suspicion for any who have the power to take them, and you’ll plot against those who do have what you prize . . . But by having some self-respect for your own mind and prizing it, you will please yourself and be in better harmony with your fellow human beings, and more in tune with the gods – praising everything they have set in order and allotted you.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 6.16.2b-4a

Rather than pull out some personal experiences to elaborate on today’s meditation I will invoke the inspirational words of three men whom I admire.

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”

“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”

~ Henry David Thoreau

“The key to every man is his thought. Sturdy and defying though he look, he has a helm which he obeys, which is the idea after which all his facts are classified. He can only be reformed by showing him a new idea which commands his own.”

“There are other measures of self-respect for a man, than the number of clean shirts he puts on every day.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Research the things you love. Gain knowledge. It’s valuable.”

“Be kind. Be courteous. Love others and be happy. It’s that simple.”

“Where else can you be as free as by yourself in the middle of nowhere, or in the middle of the ocean, or on the peak of a mountain. Adventure is freedom.

~ Daniel Norris

Daniel Norris is a major league baseball pitcher. He presently plays for the Detroit Tigers, and may be most famous for how he decided to live after getting signed. He bought a 1978 Westfalia camper for $10,000 and lived out of it during spring training. Known as “Van Man” who lives in a vehicle he named “Shaggy”, what he determined as important were things he decided to focus on. Surfing. Hiking. Baseball. He opts to live simply, but pursue the sport he loves. May we all have the clarity to know our prize.

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