Book Tips: Trying to Find Peace

| October 3, 2001

Book Tips: Trying to Find Peace

Though Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and physicist Albert Einstein may be better known for their accomplishments in politics and physics, Carol Van Houten, editor of the online zine The Constant Reader, recommends the writings of these two great thinkers for their thoughts on peace.

In Marcus Aurelius' memoir Meditations, Van Houten finds inspiration and peace. On her home page she quotes him: 'What is not harmful to the city cannot harm the citizen. In every fancied case of harm, apply the rule, 'If the city is not harmed, I am not harmed either.' But if the city should indeed be harmed, never rage at the culprit: rather, find out at what point his vision failed him.'

Van Houten says that she's comforted by Marcus Aurelius' reminder that even the worst of times are only temporary. She appreciates his advice to always make rational decisions, words that she has not seen expressed much in the press lately.

Also missing, Van Houten writes, have been inspiring speeches from our leaders. So, she turns to Albert Einstein for his thoughts from between WWI and WWII. In his essays, Einstein, also a peace activist, pleads for renewed vigilance against armaments.

Though full of thoughtful and interesting quotes from brilliant minds, Van Houten's article also includes a valuable reading list of more works in a similar vein.
--Sara V. Buckwitz

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