“The first and best of victories for a man is to conquer himself; to be conquered by himself is, of all things, the most shameful,” says Plato. Self-control is at the root of all the advantages. Let a man give in to his impulses (冲动) and feelings, and from that moment he gives up his moral freedom.
A single angry word has lost many friends. When Socrates found in himself any temper or anger, he would check it by speaking low in order to control himself. If you are conscious of being angry, keep your mouth shut so that you can hold back rising anger. Many a person has dropped dead in great anger. Fits of anger bring fits of disease. “Whoever the gods would destroy, they first make them mad.” “Keep cool,” says Webster, “anger is not argument.” “Be calm in arguing,” says George Herbert, “for fierceness makes error a fault.”
To be angry with a weak man is to prove that you are not strong yourself. “Anger,” says Pythagoras, “begins with foolishness and ends with regret.” You must measure the strength of a man by the power of the feelings he conquers, not by the power of those which conquer him.
Self-control is man’s last and greatest victory.
If a man lacks self-control he seems to lack everything. Without it he can have no patience, no power to govern himself; he can have no self-confidence, for he will always be controlled by his strongest feeling. If he lacks self-control, the very backbone and nerve of character are lacking too.
小题1:What’s the main idea of the passage?