Wisdom Wednesday: Self Reliance

Liberated from facebook, mostly likely the “Psychology of Stoicism, Buddhism, Epicureanism, Etc” group page. Douglas is an especially good source for this kind of quote because of his background: he found help to teach himself to read, and he escaped from slavery through his own will. Even in slavery, he was not a subject, but a man, and when he escaped to freedom he only made obvious the independent spirit which already existed in him. Slavery’s power lies not in circumstances.

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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6 Responses to Wisdom Wednesday: Self Reliance

  1. Cyberkitten says:

    I remember a debate we had at work a while back on whether we are citizens or subjects (of the Queen) and I was adamant that I was *subject* to no one. Weirdly several of the group were more than happy with that label. One person put it very force-ably that I was a subject whether I liked it or not. I said that what I am labelled by others, what I am called by others or even what I am officially recognised as was completely irrelevant and that I, and no one else, defined who and what I was.

    • True only to an extent, surely? I may define myself as a deity or the son of the Japanese emperor, but neither are true. We enter this world with some labels already appended to us — son of someone, daughter of someone, sister of someone. I suppose we can forcibly reject those attachments as we mature, or let them lapse from neglect, but they’re still there. But I definitely agree in a political context: we can be subject to the whims of states just as we are to hurricanes and the like, but that doesn’t grant the state ownership of us.

  2. Mudpuddle says:

    the antithesis of group-think…

  3. Sharon Barrow Wilfong says:

    I so agree with Frederick Douglas. He is a hero of mine. We have cultivated a culture (in the US) of victims in order to make them dependent on the State that then presents itself as the “Savior”. As a consequence, we have generational poverty with whole communities containing no understanding of what it means to live without government assistance or to self-actualize.

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