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Four things to know
Inspired by a poem from Attar


October 22, 2006


If I had to reduce everything I know to four things
I would choose the following empowering insights

The first is this: do not worry about your stomach or money
But be concerned for your mind and heart, before it is too late

The second is: learn about arguments, how to construct them
How to evaluate them, to give precision to your thinking
Otherwise you will draw easy and self-serving conclusions
These will make you feel good, but leave you dim-witted

The third is: carefully consider different ways of being a human being
Different ways of acting, different ways of treating other human beings
This is because conventional morality is often just a license for immorality
Being unkind and mean, having a bad life and no interest in what is good

The fourth is: always treat others with kindness, but flee from the unkind
From those who are unable to speak their mind, to grieve or to be grateful

Love everyone and see their good qualities, even when they are absent or mostly bad
If you want your mind to be clear-headed, cool and free to engage more important things
But don't even try to figure out how to respond or treat those who are false or mean
Instead like a bird that senses an approaching cat, quickly turn and fly away

-Rotterdam, Netherlands

For letters section
To Sasan Seifikar

Sasan Seifikar


Book of the day

The Pursuit of Pleasure
Drugs and Stimulants in Iranian History, 1500-1900
by Rudi Matthee


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