Favourite quote

This was a hard one because I love quotes, I love the way they succinctly express a wide range of emotions or thoughts in a few words but I have settled on the following as I originally heard it.

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”

Marcus Aurelius , Meditations

I should now hasten to add that there is considerable doubt that the quote should be attributed to Marcus Aurelius as tempting as that may be. You may care to read this article , one of many disputing its origin. Given this then we may have to attribute it to that popular creator “Anonymous”.

Regardless of its origin I like it because it is a good maxim to live by. Take everything you see or hear with a grain of salt as they say. The Buddha expressed it in a similar way but a little more verbosely :

 “Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them.”

 Kalama Sutta,

In this media-crazy world we live in today I feel there is far too much reliance on, and acceptance as truth, from a plethora of commentators with their own agendas to promote. Too many of the traditional outlets for news are in the hands of too few people and people who have abrogated the non-biased rule for news reporting to give their own spin to what is reported or chosen to be reported on. Even the so-called “fact checkers” can not be relied upon to give anything but opinions.

I implore you to keep this quote in mind when forming any judgements on what you hear or see.


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