We are not born to share humiliation or evil fortune, and if a man is unfortunate, remember that his misfortune is his own fault.
We abound in every kind of excuse for people with degenerate spirits. We ought not to let anyone make us miserable. If this affection of yours, or whatever you call it, is going to make you a miserable slave, is it not for your good? We ought not to spend our feelings on things beyond our Power. Just as every skill is strengthened by practice, so is every bad habit made worse by repetition.
One of the few freedoms that we have as human beings that cannot be taken away from us is the freedom to assent to what is true and to deny what is false. Nothing you can give me is worth surrendering that freedom for. Tranquility is a mind in accord with nature. I have been living a life of perturbation. Being perturbed all the time.
What is it we're looking for in this endless quest? Tranquility. You think if you can acquire enough worldly goods, enough recognition, enough eminence, you will be free, and instead you become a bigger and bigger slave to how you think others are judging you. The only true possessions we have is character. That and the scheme of life. God has given every person a "spark" from His divinity, and no one can take that away from you, not even God himself. And from that "spark" comes your character. Everything else is temporary and worthless in the long run, including your body. What is the human body? It's a clever piece of crockery containing a quart of blood. And it's not even yours. One day, your gonna have to give it back. And where are your possessions then? They're gonna be picked over one by one bunch of buzzards or another. What man has ever been remembered as great because of the possessions he devoted his life to accumulating? I can't think of any. So why don't we pay more attention to the one precious thing we possess, "The Spark" God has placed in our souls?
Like the bull, the man of noble nature doesn't become noble all of a sudden, he must train himself through the winter and make ready.