For those who fail at everything, there’s no danger of feigning modesty. Modesty, rather, is thrust upon them.
If I am disappointed by the conduct of others, that is almost certainly my fault — for holding them to a higher standard than I do my own self.
At a certain point, it became nearly impossible to distinguish between my affectations and my authentic, spontaneous action. As in every other case, I’ve been forced to reach a compromise — to ensure, at least, that my affectations are authentic.
I have no interest in contemplating the best version of myself. Rather, I prefer the one who’s slightly inferior in every way. He permits me to cultivate the illusion of virtue, a much less demanding exercise than the cultivation of virtue itself.
Given the unlikelihood of being born at all, it seems logical that one would make every effort not to squander the great miracle of life.
Seems that way, yes. What this line of reason fails to account for, however, is that squandering great miracles itself represents a privilege unique to the living.
In his Histories, Herodotus relates how the Persians would either make a decision while drunk and then review it while sober or make a decision while sober and then review it while drunk.
A student of the great texts, I find real value in this technique. Not only that, but I believe I have improved upon it. My solution? To remain always half-drunk and half-sober. That way, I can deliberate upon and also review important matters simultaneously. This is how I have become an expert decision-maker.
Those who contend that a “rising tide lifts all boats” fail to recognize that not everyone identifies with the boats in that metaphor.