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Philo of Alexandria Said

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.



( 11 sutras — Your wisdom )
Aug. 1st, 2006 10:07 pm (UTC)
Truer words were never spoken. By coincidence, Beckett's quote struck me with particular force today: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
Aug. 1st, 2006 10:32 pm (UTC)
"Fail better" could be the motto on my coat of arms. Great quote.
Aug. 1st, 2006 10:35 pm (UTC)
On the same theme:

"If you wouldn't trade places with someone, have compassion for them."
Aug. 1st, 2006 10:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's it. Got a source?
Aug. 2nd, 2006 02:24 pm (UTC)
I don't. I heard it in a meeting several years ago. Even for me, it's honored more in the breach than the observance.
Aug. 2nd, 2006 02:21 am (UTC)
Great quote! What's it from?
Aug. 2nd, 2006 05:04 am (UTC)
I believe it's from one of these. But Philo doesn't have a lot of works still in print. :)

But I swiped it from Ellen Kushner's list of favorites.
Aug. 2nd, 2006 06:21 pm (UTC)
Philo, Plato or who?
it is a good quote and I can't remember having read it before. So I did what I do whenever I am at my wits end, I googled. This is what I got (12.4 million hits, but I had not put quotation marks around it):

Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2005 11:15:28 -0400
Reply-To: American Dialect Society <[log in to unmask]>
Sender: American Dialect Society Mailing List <[log in to unmask]>
Comments: To: [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask]
From: Stephen Goranson <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: "everyone is fighting a hard battle"
Comments: To: [log in to unmask]
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Disposition: inline

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
This quotation (or a variant) is often attributed either to Philo or Plato,
though I've never seen a specific citation.

For what it's worth, here's the closest thing I found by searching JSTOR. In The
Biblical World (retitled the next year as The Journal of Religion) v. 54 n. 6
(1920) page 606 Ozora S. Davis, in an article on preaching quoted II Peter 1:57
and then commented on each phrase, including:
"_brotherly kindness_--Everyone is fighting a hard battle."

Stephen Goranson

Aug. 2nd, 2006 09:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Philo, Plato or who?
Philo of Alexandria's works are online; isn't there a way to limit a google search to a particular set of sub-pages?

In any case, thanks. My googling provided interesting information on Philo, but not a specific source.
Aug. 2nd, 2006 10:36 pm (UTC)
I like that a lot. What a good way to live. I'm writing that down and putting it on my office door right now!
Aug. 3rd, 2006 04:45 pm (UTC)
Plato to Philo: 6 to 1
I googled:
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." 12,600 hits
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Plato 930 hits
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Philo 154 hits
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Plato Philo 16 hits

I tried to google it in German translation (which is tricky), but got no hits at all. I guess this circulates only in the English-speaking world.

Everyone can draw his or her conclusions. My conclusion is, that some English speaker thought that was witty and then assigned it to Plato, the next person confused Plato with Philo and so some of the references are to Philo. It does not matter! It is a nice variation on the golden rule.

I doubt that the saying is either by Philo or by Plato. About Philo I don't know for sure, but about Plato I would say that it just does not sound like him (but I have not read everything by him).

For the golden rule actually I prefer "live and let live" because that way you can include not only people, but all living things. Unless of course they are after your hide, than by all means fight them (like certain germs). But if you see a rabbit munching on your favorite tulips, tell yourself: live and let live (and chances are anyhow that the rabbit is fighting hard for its little life).

( 11 sutras — Your wisdom )

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