Imitate or Loathe

Day 78 of A Year of War and Peace


A comrade who is squeamish gradually enervates us and makes us soft; a neighbor who is rich pricks up our covetousness; a companion who is malicious rubs some of his rust off upon us, however frank and generous we may be. Then what do you suppose happens to character when an assault is made upon it with total mobilization? Inevitably you either imitate or loathe. But both alternatives must be avoided. Neither become like the bad because they are many, nor hostile to the many because they are different. Retire into yourself, so far as you can. Associate with people who may improve you, admit people whom you can improve. The process is mutual; men learn as they teach.

Seneca, Letter on Crowds



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Brian E. Denton

Brian E. Denton


For my friends and family, love. For my enemies, durian fruit.