Sunday, January 5, 2014

Quote of the Day: Diogenes on Sunshine (or is it Politics?)

I heard this anecdote recently, about when Alexander the Great came to see the philosopher Diogenes.  When Alexander asked if Diogenes wanted anything, Diogenes is reported to have said:
Yes, stand a little out of my sunshine.
Another, wordier, variation:
I have nothing to ask but that you would remove to the other side, that you may not, by intercepting the sunshine, take from me what you cannot give.
Some sources:
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Diogenes_of_Sinope
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diogenes_and_Alexander
http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/3213618.Diogenes_of_Sinope

I love this quote, any variation of it.  Alexander could have probably given Diogenes almost anything, but all Diogenes wanted was for Alexander to not bother him.  Moreover, Diogenes recognized that politicians are not the source of anything.  All that we need from politicians, really, is for them to get the hell out of our way.