On the Need of Praise – from Marcus Aurelius

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“Everything which is in anyway beautiful is beautiful in itself, and terminates in itself, not having praise as part of itself. Neither worse, then, nor better is a thing made by being praised. I affirm this also of the [common or ordinary], for example, material things and works of art. That which is really beautiful has no need of anything; not more than law, not more than truth, not more than benevolence or modesty. Which of these things is beautiful because it is praised, or spoiled by being blamed? Is such a thing as an emerald made worse than it was, if it is not praised? Or gold, ivory, purple, a lyre, a little knife, a flower, a shrub?”

by Marcus Aurelius in Meditations

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