We begin once more with Epicurus from the Vatican sayings (so-called because of the location of the manuscript). [Translated by Russel M. Geer]
In a philosophical dispute, he gains most who is defeated, since he learns most.
And with the theme of learning, we broach the topic of success via the commencement address given by J.K. Rowling (Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination) who is quite aware of the ironies of delivering this message to a Harvard graduating class.
The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I’ve ever earned.
Note that last bit — delivered in the first person — it doesn’t impose the insight on the audience. It’s a nuanced retreat from the truism.
We round out the selection with a maxim from La Rochefoucauld [Translated by Leonard Tancock]
Philosophy easily triumphs over past ills and ills to come, but present ills triumph over philosophy.
The passage of time, the reversal of judgement, the getting of wisdom. None of it painless even if it is a little irksome irritation inflicted upon our amour propre.
And so for day 1303