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Hugh of St. Victor: shameful to grow torpid in laziness (12th century)

August 28, 2019


Hugh of St. Victor (1096-1141). From C.H. Buttiner, ed. Didascalicon. Washington: Catholic University Press, 1939.


Hugh of St. Victor was the leading Saxon theologian of the 12th century. He was a thinker and a scholar and an all around productive, impressive and interesting chap.


It is one thing when you cannot learn, or to speak more truly, cannot easily learn, and another when you are able, and do not wish to know. For just as it is more glorious, with no facilities at hand, to attain wisdom by excellence alone, so it is more shameful to be vigorous in mind, to abound in riches, and to grow torpid in laziness.


All great achievers agree on one thing: you cannot be lazy. You can be brilliant and talented, but you still have to get it done. If you want to be productive, competitive and achieve something, get to work and don’t let up. Dedication to achieving something worthwhile becomes intoxicating in time, and even more enjoyable than that stultifying new video game you just downloaded.

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