A Man’s Guide to Self-Reliance | The Art of Manliness
Alexander was so impressed with Diogenes that he told his followers “who were laughing and jesting about the philosopher” that “truly, if I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes.”
What was it about a philosopher famous for living in a clay jar on the street, eschewing material possessions, and flaunting convention that so impressed the wealthy, empire-conquering king?
Diogenes did not need to please Alexander because he needed nothing from him. Not money, food, or shelter. More importantly, he didn’t need approval or blessings.
Being as powerful and famous as he was, Alexander transformed everyone around him into sniveling sycophants. It’s no surprise that the self-reliance displayed by Diogenes’ contempt earned the king’s respect.