26 May 2011

Hero Hour--Diogenes the Cynic

The precepts by which he lived: that personal happiness is satisfied by meeting one's natural needs and that what is natural cannot be shameful or indecent. His life, therefore, was lived with extreme simplicity, inured to want, and without shame. It was this determination to follow his own dictates and not adhere to the conventions of society that he was given the epithet "dog," from which the name "cynic" is derived. (Kynos is the Greek word for dog.)

Alexander the Great was reported to have said, "Had I not been Alexander, I should have liked to be Diogenes." Once, while Diogenes was sunning himself, Alexander came up to him and offered to grant him any request. "Stand out of my light," he replied.

Seeing a child drinking from his hands, Diogenes threw away his cup and remarked, "A child has beaten me in plainness of living."

“I know nothing, except the fact of my ignorance.”

1 comment:

  1. "Stand out of my light." Classic. I can totally empathize with that sentiment.