Though men may hinder you from following the paths of reason, they can never succeed in deflecting you from sound action; but make sure that they are equally unsuccessful in destroying your charitable feelings towards them. You must defend both positions alike: your firmness in decision and action, and at the same time your gentleness to those who try to obstruct or molest you. It would be as great a weakness to give way to your exasperation with them as it would be to abandon your course of action and be browbeaten into surrender. In either event the post of duty is deserted; in the one case through lack of courage, and in the other through alienation from men who are your natural brothers and friends.

Marcus Aurelius