I had never heard of François de La Rochefoucauld when I found his quote. My guess is you haven’t either. His words feel timely and pertinent for today. Time for a Google search. Wikipedia reports he was born on September 15, 1613, in Paris. He was His Highness, the Prince of Marcillac. An educated nobleman, he served in the military and in the French court of Queen Anne and Louis XIII. Like Marcus Aurelius before him, François was an author of maxims and memoirs.
They say many 19th century French critics referenced his work, and his ethics and style influenced the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Now, four hundred years later, he is still influencing us. The aspect of maxims that intrigues me is they are truisms of human nature, which chronically repeat. The observations of a Roman emperor, a French aristocrat, or a German philosopher, echo through time. If it is important, you will find a way to complete the task. When similar themes repeat across authors and transcend centuries of evolution, it behooves us to notice the pattern and determine our course of action. We need to find the purpose which ignites our will and reduces our excuses to a pile of ashes.
What do you consider impossible?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer