Yesterday, one of the coauthors forwarded an email to me which included a reference to our current Secretary of Defense’s habit of carrying Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations” at all times. I wasn’t aware that Secretary Mattis carried this philosophical work with him, but it doesn’t surprise me at all. He is the Philospher-Warrior of our time. I’m certain he and Aurelius would have a wonderful time hanging out and discussing life, war and the cosmos. They are both Stoics’ Stoics.
The opening of Meditations has Aurelius thanking those who shaped him into the man he became. Here is my attempt to do the same:
From my father: patience, value of hard work, not taking things too seriously
From my maternal grandfather: attention to detail, humor
From my paternal grandfather: a sense of calm, a heart for others
From my best friend: competitiveness in balance with care