I am Diogenes,
citizen of the world.

Diogenes of Sinope was a Greek philosopher. He is said to have been homeless, to have begged what he needed to survive, and to have preferred to live without any luxuries. He is often credited with the first use of the word “cosmopolitan”, claiming to be a “kosmopolitês”.

i nuzzle the kind, bark at the greedy and bite scoundrels.

Diogenes was called Kynos – Greek for dog – for his lifestyle and contrariness. It was from this word for dog that we get the word Cynic. Diogenes is considered to be the father of Cynicism, a school of philosophy of ancient Greece. For the Cynics the purpose of life is to live a life of Virtue in agreement with Nature. It seems that Diogenes enjoyed his nickname, stating that “other dogs bite their enemies, I bite my friends to save them”. When Alexander the Great once came and said “I am Alexander the great king”, Diogenes replied: “And I am Diogenes the dog.”

Step out of my sunlight.

Thereupon many statesmen and philosophers came to Alexander the Great with their congratulations, and he expected that Diogenes of Sinope also would do likewise. But since that philosopher took not the slightest notice of Alexander, he went in person to see him; and he found him lying in the sun. When that monarch addressed him with greetings, and asked if he wanted anything, “Yes,” said Diogenes, “stand a little out of my sun.” It is said that Alexander was so struck by this, and admired so much the haughtiness and grandeur of the man who had nothing but scorn for him, that he said to his followers, who were laughing and jesting about the philosopher as they went away, “But truly, if I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes.”

Aren’t you ashamed, you who walk backward along the whole path of existence, and blame me for walking backward along the path of the promenade?

When people laughed at Diogenes because he walked backward beneath the portico.

It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.

Diogenes sought to live an exemplary life of autonomy. He lived in a tub and is said to have taken enormous pleasure in all that he did. He became notorious for his philosophical stunts such as carrying a lamp in the daytime, claiming to be looking for an honest man.

One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings.

All the curses of tragedy, he used to say, had lighted upon him, and yet he insisted that he lived the good life: He claimed that to fortune he could oppose courage, to convention nature, to passion reason.

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