Doodle Card #169 – Respect Your Own Experience

Respect your own experience.


Respect your own experience.


Every morning I read a passage from Meditation by Marcus Aurelius:

“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own — not of the same blood or birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work together like feet, hands, and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower. To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are obstructions.”
— Marcus Aurelius, Meditation 2.1

And I also tell me one more thing: In our life there is a time to stay away from these toxic people, and I have to distinguish the time to run away from the time to work together.

Marcus Aurelius was one of the Five Good Emperors as well as a great philosopher, but he was not free from his own biases: Since he was Roman Emperor, he was not in the position to run away. His opponent was in the position to run away (or to assassinate him, like the movie The Gladiator).

We — assuming that you are an ordinary person like me — have to be really careful about such survivorship bias, or survival bias. We can see this bias everywhere: books, blog posts, speeches and presentations of highly successful people. What they say is often too lofty or impractical to apply to our ordinary life.

It doesn’t mean that what successful people say is meaningless. It just means we will most likely need to add one or two more insights — that are based upon our own experience and free from the survivorship bias — to what they say so as to utilize their experience and knowledge in our everyday life. And this is the way for us to ‘survive’ in our life.


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