10 July 2012

Practicing Patience

Arthur Schopenhauer, Selected Essays, translated by T. Bailey Saunders (New York: A. L. Burt, 1892), p. 142:
The art of putting up with people may be learned by practicing patience on inanimate objects, which, in virtue of some mechanical or general physical necessity, oppose a stubborn resistance to our freedom of action -- a form of patience which is required every day. The patience thus gained may be applied to our dealings with men, by accustoming ourselves to regard their opposition, wherever we encounter it, as the inevitable outcome of their nature, which sets itself up against us in virtue of the same rigid law of necessity as governs the resistance of inanimate objects. To become indignant at their conduct is as foolish as to be angry with a stone because it rolls into your path. And with many people the wisest thing you can do, is to resolve to make use of those whom you cannot alter.
The source for this quote is Section 21 of the Paränesen und Maximen at the end of the first volume of Parerga und Paralipomena (Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1877), p. 478.

The search feature in the link above is useless. I read somewhere (in David Cartwright's biography, I think) that Schopenhauer insisted his works be typeset in Fraktur -- a sound aesthetic choice, but sometimes OCR software is unable to digest it.