“Keep a list before your mind of those who burned with anger and resentment about something, of even the most renowned for success, misfortune, evil deeds, or any special distinction. Then ask yourself, how did that work out? Smoke and dust, the stuff of simple myth trying to be legend…”-Marcus Aurelius
In Marcus Aurelius’s writings, he constantly points out how the emperors who came before him were barely remembered just a few years later. To him, this was a reminder that no matter how much he conquered, no matter how much he inflicted his will on the world, it would be like building a castle in the sand-soon to be erased by the winds of time.
The same goes for those driven to the heights of hate or anger or obsession or perfectionism. Marcus liked to point out that Alexander the Great-one of the most passionate and ambitious men who ever lived-was buried in the same ground as his mule driver. Eventually, all of us will pass away and slowly be forgotten. We should enjoy this brief time we have on earth-not be enslaved to emotions that make us miserable and dissatisfied.