All those things at which you wish to arrive by a circuitous road, you can have now, if thou do not refuse them to yourself. And this means, if you will take no notice of all the past, and trust the future to providence, and direct the present only conformably to piety and justice. Conformably to piety, that you may be content with the lot which is assigned to you, for nature designed it for you and you for it. Conformably to justice, that you may always speak the truth freely and without disguise, and do the things which are agreeable to law and according to the worth of each. And let neither another man’s wickedness hinder you, nor opinion nor voice, nor yet the sensations of the poor flesh which has grown about you; for the passive part will look to this.
Πάντα ἐκεῖνα, ἐφ̓ ἃ διὰ περιόδου εὔχῃ ἐλθεῖν, ἤδη ἔχειν δύνασαι, ἐὰν μὴ σαυτῷ φθονῇς. τοῦτο δέ ἐστιν, ἐὰν πᾶν τὸ παρελθὸν καταλίπῃς καὶ τὸ μέλλον ἐπιτρέψῃς τῇ προνοίᾳ καὶ τὸ παρὸν μόνον ἀπευθύνῃς πρὸς ὁσιότητα καὶ δικαιοσύνην. ὁσιότητα μέν, ἵνα φιλῇς τὸ ἀπονεμόμενον: σοὶ γὰρ αὐτὸ ἡ φύσις ἔφερε καὶ σὲ τούτῳ: δικαιοσύνην δέ, ἵνα ἐλευθέρως καὶ χωρὶς περιπλοκῆς λέγῃς τε τἀληθῆ καὶ πράσσῃς τὰ κατὰ νόμον καὶ κατ̓ ἀξίαν: μὴ ἐμποδίζῃ δέ σε μήτε κακία ἀλλοτρία μήτε ὑπόληψις μήτε φωνὴ μηδὲ μὴν αἴσθησις τοῦ περιτεθραμμένου σοι σαρκιδίου: ὄψεται γὰρ τὸ πάσχον.
—Marcus Aurelius, Meditations (XII, 1)