Cato–or Laelius

I stand by what I said about Brett Favre: More power to him for wanting to stick it to the Packers. (Even though the Packers never did him any wrong.)

If ever there was a good reason to come out of retirement to play football, a personal vendetta is it.

SenecaSpeaking of returning All-Pro quarterbacks: My heart goes out Michael Vick as he fights doggedly to get his reputation back…

…The Roman statesman and philospher Seneca wrote letters to a young friend to exhort the young man to live a virtuous life.

Seneca was a demanding moralist, much like his hero Cato. He urged his young friend to choose a role model.

We need to set our affections on some good man and keep him constantly before our eyes, so that we may live as if he were watching us and do everything as if he saw what we were doing.

Excellent advice. Even more excellent, I think, is the way Seneca then tempered his advice:

So choose yourself a Cato–or, if Cato seems to severe for you, a Laelius, a man whose character is not quite so strict.

According to Cicero, Laelius like to go on holiday to the seashore and collect shells on the beach, “like a child.”

Strict role models are good. Not-quite-so-strict role models who are good men are okay, too.

non sequitur
(“Non Sequitur” by Wiley Miller)

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