“I ought to be asking you ‘How long will these unending sins of yours go on?'” Do you really desire my remedies to stop before your vices?”
I quite like the suggestion that we ought to let words other than compliments reach us. I’ve been talking with a friend, and we’ve been discussing “the inner critic.” We’re not yet of one mind on this, but I’m enjoying and benefiting from the discussion.
Our topic there is that the inner critic is not always helpful. That we might choose to take the kind of conciliatory manner of the teacher with ourselves. It’s pretty unlikely that we would speak to a student as harshly as we do ourselves. We can see failure as progress in others, but do not apply this to ourselves. So, the inner critic’s ‘bedside manner,’ as it were, may need to be adjusted.
But his job doesn’t go away, as your letter reminds us, Seneca. Indeed, the remedies must keep coming.
Thank you for the letter.