As you move forward along the path of reason, people will stand in your way. They will never be able to keep you from doing what’s sound, so don’t let them knock you out of your goodwill for them.
Keep a steady watch on both fronts, not only for well-based judgments and actions, but also for gentleness with those who would obstruct our path or create other difficulties. For getting angry is also a weakness, just as much as abandoning the task or surrendering under panic. For doing either is an equal desertion – the one by shrinking back and the other by estrangement from family and friend.
As we begin to make progress in our lives, we’ll encounter the limitations of the people around us. It’s like a diet. When everyone is eating healthy, suddenly there are opposing agendas. Now there’s an argument about where to go for dinner.
Just as we must not abandon our new path simply because other people may have a problem with it, we must not abandon those other folks either. Don’t simply write them off or leave them in the dust. Don’t get mad or fight with them. After all, they’re at the same place we were not long ago.
Background on Marcus Aurelius