This blog is obviously a compendium of ideas I find interesting—and very few are original to me. Do I feel guilty about this? No, thanks to Seneca, author of our school motto, “To teach the art of living well.” (See posting of 5/29/2007.)
In his Moral Letters to Lucilius, Number 12, he quotes the classic Greek philosopher, Epicurus: “It is wrong to live under constraint; but no man is constrained to live under constraint.” (Surprising compartmentalized thinking by a high-ranking Roman who was tended to by numerous slaves, eunuchs, and servants.)
But then he becomes defensive about quoting from another: “Epicurus,” you reply, “uttered these words. What are you doing with another’s property?” Any truth, I maintain, is my own property, and I shall continue to heap quotations from Epicurus upon you, so that all persons . . . may understand that the best ideas are common property.
So I, too, heap quotations on you from The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, old Jean Shepherd programs, the Internet—anywhere I find them. A good thought is everyone’s property and should be available to all. If you see anything you like in this blog, feel free to quote it, expand on it, or just present it as your own. I found them in the public domain, and they are still public property. All I did was to bring them to your attention. I do not need any attribution. I am flattered that you like them, and that is enough, I kid you not.