ASSIGNMENT FIVE: Please read Book One of the Meditations of Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius.
Question for you to answer. Following Marcus’ general style, please write a concise statement of gratitude identifying the ethical and intellectual debts you owe to family members, teachers, or friends. Fictitious names are permitted, but the statement of gratitude should be genuine.
Additional background for reflection (assignment five) (a philosophical perspective on gratitude)
“Aware only of his own satisfactions and his own happiness, hoarding them as a miser hoards his coin . . . the egoist cannot be grateful. Ingratitude is not the incapacity to receive but the inability to give back–in the form of joy or love–a little of the joy that was received or experienced. This is why ingratitude is so pervasive a vice. [Ungrateful people] absorb joy as others absorb light, for egoism is a black hole.”
–Andre Comte-Sponville, Professor of philosophy at the Sorbonne (France)
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