Well enough alone

Some take nothing into account, and others want to take account for everything. They are always talking importance, always taking things too seriously, turning them into debate and mystery. Few bothersome things are important enough to bother with. It is folly to take to heart what you should turn your back on. Not the least of life’s rules is to leave well enough alone.

~ Baltasar Gracián


The art of living

Philosophy does not promise to secure anything external for man, otherwise it would be admitting something that lies beyond its proper subject-matter. For as the material of the carpenter is wood, and that of statuary bronze, so the subject-matter of the art of living is each person’s own life.

~ Epictetus


Not so little anymore

Recently my “little” box of quotes outgrew its original little box. The collection now exceeds 600 cards and continues to grow at an accelerating pace.

…and it has expanded conceptually far beyond simply being a box on my desk. The Little Box of Quotes podcast has surpassed a year of daily episodes. A precious 10 or so of the quotes were the original seeds for what became my personal sequence of daily reminders for reflection. My personal sequence then inspired my series on Practicing Reflection which ran during the opening days of 2021.

I’m curious to see where I’ll be with this in another 5 years.


Already knowing

The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.

~ Leo Tolstoy


Better left alone

Many see the trees but not the forest, or bark up the wrong tree, speaking endlessly, reasoning uselessly, without going to the pith of the matter. They go round and round, tiring themselves and us, and never get to what is important. This happens to people with confused minds who do not know how to clear away the brambles. They waste time and patience on what it would be better to leave alone, and later there is no time for what they left.

~ Baltasar Gracián