On Anger – Gossip

It is well not to see everything, not to hear everything. Many affronts may pass by us; in most cases the man who is unconscious of them escapes them. Would you avoid being provoked? Then do not be inquisitive. He who tries to discover what has been said against him, who unearths malicious gossip even if it was privately indulged in, is responsible for his own disquietude. There are words which the construction put upon them can make appear an insult; some, therefore, ought to be put aside, others derided, others condoned.

Seneca, On Anger, Book 3.11

Non expedit omnia videre, omnia audire. Multae nos iniuriae transeant, ex quibus plerasque non accipit qui nescit. Non vis esse iracundus? Ne fueris curiosus. Qui inquirit quid in se dictum sit, qui malignos sermones, etiam si secreto habiti sunt, eruit, se ipse inquietat. Quaedam interpretatio eo perducit, ut videantur iniuriae; itaque alia differenda sunt, alia deridenda, alia donanda.

Seneca, De Ira, Liber 3.11


Villa of the Mysteries, 79 A.D. Pompeii


Resist the impulse to be curious then about what has been said about you. Remember most  things are said in spite or on the whim and usually are not true or what the person actually thinks about you, in jest at the least. The best remedy is not to care what others think of you, but to be a good example and not to fuel the fire. People will observe this and admire you for your strength. Never give in to gossip, let it pass like the wind and let it stay a mystery.



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