Marcus Aurelius, from Exhortations to Himself

Get busy looking at your own actions; and at how the universe works; and at how your neighbors behave. Look at yourself to see if you are acting justly or unjustly. Look at the universe in order to realize that you are part of its workings. Look at your neighbors to see if they are acting out of knowledge or out of ignorance, remembering all the while that their minds are like yours.

You yourself are part of a social system, so be sure that your actions are social. Whatever you do—near or far—that is not connected to the social system, such an action tears your own life apart and tears you out of the social fabric. Such actions are like a mutiny, like a public forum in which one person acts selfishly.

Book IX, 22-23.

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