Six Mistakes of Life
May 13, 2023
Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error.Marcus Tullius Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero was an extraordinary individual renowned for his multifaceted talents and accomplishments. He held positions as a politician in the Roman Senate, a lawyer, a political theorist, orator, among others.
One of Cicero’s notable works is “De Officiis,” composed in 44 BCE as a letter to his son Marcus. It is remarkable that these insights into human mistakes were conceived centuries ago, yet they remain relevant even today.
According to Cicero, the six mistakes that people have been prone to throughout history are these:
- The fallacious belief that personal gain requires the oppression of others.
- Excessive concern for matters beyond our control, which cannot be altered or rectified.
- Insisting on the impossibility of achieving something simply because we cannot accomplish it.
- Unwillingness to let go of trivial preferences and make rational choices.
- Neglecting the development and refinement of the mind, failing to cultivate the habit of reading and studying.
- Attempting to impose our own beliefs and way of life onto others, disregarding their autonomy and individuality.
Centuries may have passed, yet it is ironic how human struggles persist unchanged. What a remarkable mind Cicero must have been to capture these human failings in such a succinct form.