The Athenian statesman and general Phocion lived from about 402 to 318 B.C. He was famous for his frugal and unassuming personal habits; and he always put the interests of his country first, in stark opposition to his careerist, opportunistic contemporaries.Continue reading
Sometimes the time is not right for your message to be heard. Sometimes being great is not enough. The right stars must come into alignment. External conditions must be right for your message to be heard. People may like you, but the real recognition may not yet be forthcoming.
History is replete with figures who went not just through slumps, but years of practical exile or relegation to obscurity. But eventually, talent and quality will tell. The key is to endure the hardship of the Wilderness Years.
Plutarch’s lives of Phocion and Cato the Younger can be read as case studies on the contrasting features of moderation and extremism.
The successful, rational leader will know when to compromise and seek settlements; the extremist will not, and thereby brings himself and others to ruin.