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‘Whatever anyone does or says, I must be emerald and keep my colour.’ – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.
This phrase, or the gist of it, has been coming to mind a lot lately: ‘I must be emerald’, and keep my character. It conjures up another line of Marcus Aurelius’s, which I think runs, roughly, ‘Everything you hear is an opinion, not a fact’. A useful thought to bear in mind when the dread power of assertion is ever bearing down on you: “I say this is so, therefore it is,” says someone else. “They say it’s so, therefore it must be so” (says you to yourself, says you), even when it’s not. And when confronted by things like that, what can a man do but be emerald?
Whew. Had me worried for a moment, there.
 : Though, your pardon, ladies and germs, for putting it thuswise.Published in