Roman Calendar

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

'Work" (from "Musonius Rufus on How To Live")

From Musonius Rufus on How To Live:


To relax (remittere) the mind is to lose (amittere) it. Why are we always lazy, careless, and sluggish - seeking excuses for not working hard and sitting up late to perfect our logical argument?

. . .

The best livelihood (particularly for the strong) is earning a living from the soil, whether you own your land or not. Many can support their families by farming land owned by the state or private landowners. Some even get rich through hard work with their own hands. The earth repays those who cultivate her, both justly and well, multiplying what she received - endowing in abundance all the necessities of life to anyone willing to work - and all this without violating your dignity or self-respect!

No one (unless corrupted by soft living) would say that the labour of the farmer was degrading or unfit for a good person . . . To be sure, the occupations which strain and tire the whole body encourage the mind to concentrate upon the body alone - yet the occupations which require not too much physical exertion don't hinder the mind from reflecting on higher things - increasing its own wisdom - a goal for every philosopher to strive for continually . . ."

No Stoic can ever defame a life of hard work!

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