People Debate Mandatory Retirement At 75 For Congress And The Supreme Court
When Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away in the fall of 2020, the United States panicked.
Namely, democrats and liberals were terrified by the prospect of another conservative judge on the United States Supreme Court, which already had a two-seat majority.
Then of course, there was the ongoing debate as to whether or not then-sitting president Donald Trump was entitled to pick another Supreme Court judge, as the 2020 presidential election was only weeks away.
Barack Obama was famously banned from appointing Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court owing to the fact that it was an election year, even though President Obama still had eight months left in his presidency.
Of course, RBG's death at age 87 also brought to the forefront an ongoing debate about whether there should be age limits for Supreme Court Justices.
Redditor houstontexas2022 was curious to hear where the Reddit community stood on this issue, leading them to ask:
"Would you support a mandatory retirement age of 75 for US House, US Senate & US Supreme Court Justices and if not why?"
If There Are Minimums, There Should Be Maximums
"We have age minimums."
"We need maximum age limits these people are making decisions for a future they won't be involved in."- mattjf22
Age Doesn't Always Equal Wisdom...
"I am 82 years old."
"Personally, I feel that anyone my age who still gets off on power needs to be kept away from normal people."
"But to the point of this post, the world has been run by old people since the beginning of our species, and just look at the place!"
"Yes, if you were intelligent to begin with your wisdom and common sense will increase with age, but so will your cynicism."
"If you were a young jacka**, you will become an old jacka** — and a hide-bound prejudiced old jackass at that."
"Give them a nice pension at 70, with the condition that if they mess with politics or government again they lose the pension."- SemichiSam
Would Have Greatly Affected The Last Two Elections
"70 and as for president no one can run over 65."
"FFS get with the program folks just retire."- Upstairs-Bid6513
Age Limits Are Only The Beginning
"Age requirement of 65, 2 term limit, Congress people serve 4 year instead of 2 year terms, and no campaigning more than 60 days before the election."- Deedoodleday
Term Limits First
"I feel like if we were to attach an age to it, it should be the age of retirement, but I feel like it would be more important to have term limits."
"Limits would fix almost all the same issues and address more, without arbitrarily deciding someone is too old to serve the state."- Askmyrkr
"Term limit is the way to go."- bob2235
Not Where Our Concerns Should Be...
"No, the problem isn't age, it's our election system."
"Politicians get old in office because it's so f*cking hard to vote them out!"
"End legal bribery, end FPTP, and we'll see a much healthier turnover in our political processes."- FountainsOfFluids
What Matters Is Their Qualifications And Abilities
"I'll be the contrarian."
"If you're good, you're good, regardless of age."
"I'll take a 75-year-old who is smarter, savvier, and better representative of my values than a 35-year-old."
"If you don't like them because they're senile, don't vote for them, that's all."
"Honestly, I feel the same about lower-age limits that aren't just the age of majority."- walkerintheworld
75 Is still Too Old...
"I would go even younger at 70."
"Sure that may mean we would lose Bernie, we would also be ditching McConnell, Pelosi, and the other fossils in office who refuse to address the problems we face."- Daryno90
"Would rather see mandatory voting like Australia."- szthesquid
Wouldn't Change Anything
"Making politicians retire at some arbitrary age would not address the underlying problems our system has."- giope_1995
"What problem are you trying to solve by doing this?"
"Apparently, people want to be represented by ancient dinosaurs."- SideShow117
Defeats The Point Of Democracy
"No, absolutely not."
"Nor should there be a minimum age (apart from 18)."
"The point of a representative democracy is that the people vote for whom they want."
"Putting restrictions on who can run serves no purpose other than invalidating the votes of people you disagree with."
"It's not up to you or me to decide who is 'valid' as a candidate."
"That's the entire point of democracy."
"And to those of you that are convinced that if all the old people were just gone, then everyone would agree with you, you're ironically the exact kind of uninformed voter that you claim to be trying to prevent."- scottevil110
"No, because if there was a 76-year-old candidate I liked I would want the freedom to vote for them."
"Supporting things like this is so short-sighted."- tedesco455
In the heat of the moment, it's easy to make rash decisions about government and democracy.
Frustrating though it may be, it's important to remember progress is a slow, steady stream and doesn't come easily.
Also worth remembering, there are indeed two sides to most arguments, and far more can be resolved in a discussion than in an attack.
History remembers Marcus Aurelius as one of the Roman Empire's "good" emperors—but this is Rome we're talking about. Even the good guys did some pretty twisted stuff. From his scandalous marriage to his tainted legacy, this so-called "Philosopher King" had some serious skeletons in his closet. So who really was the last good emperor? Dive in and find out.
1. He Was A Rich Boy
Marcus Aurelius was born into one of Rome's richest families, but that doesn't mean he had a charmed childhood. He lost his father when he was just three years old, never getting to know the man who gave him life. In a touching tribute, he'd later say he learned "modesty and manliness" by studying his deceased dad's life.
So he lost his dad, but at least he had his mom to raise him, right? Well, not exactly...
2. His Mom Wasn't In The Picture
Turns out, Roman ladies weren't exactly the "motherly" type. Marcus Aurelius's mother Lucilla basically never saw her boy, and instead he spent his lonely childhood in the care of nursemaids. But, as the boy got older, the testosterone-fueled Romans believed he needed a man in his life, so a new father-figure hit the scene.
3. He Had An Evil Stepgrandmother
Aurelius's caretakers sent him to live with his grandfather, Marcus Annius Verus. After his isolated days with the nursemaids, Aurelius instantly took to his ol' granpappy. He spoke highly of his grandfather for the rest of his life—but there was one part of this new life he absolutely hated. When Marcus's grandma passed, his grandpa took a mistress, and he utterly despised her.
Though generally a pretty polite dude, something about this woman rubbed Aurelius the wrong way, and he couldn't get out of the house fast enough after she moved in.
4. He Was...Odd
Marcus Aurelius was a homeschool kid, and let's just say it made him a little...weird. Thanks to his, ahem, "eccentric" teachers, Aurelius started wearing rough, worn-out clothing and sleeping on the floor. Imagine if Prince Harry started walking around in a burlap sack and camping out on the grounds at Buckingham Palace. Yeah, it was weird.
Eventually, Aurelius's mother had to beg him to start sleeping in a bed again. It was bad enough that her son was so eccentric—but all of a sudden, he became really important really fast.
5. He Wasn't Supposed To Be EmperorFile:Head of the statue of emperor Hadrian.jpg - Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org
See, the thing about Marcus Aurelius is, he was never supposed to be emperor. Sure, he was rich and came from a powerful family, but there were lots of rich and powerful young men who were a lot closer to the emperor at the time, Hadrian. But, in 136, something happened that changed everything: Hadrian had a sudden hemorrhage and barely survived.
Suddenly, the most powerful man on earth felt mighty fragile. He started looking for a successor—and there was talk buzzing about this weird kid who slept on the floor and loved philosophy.
6. Hadrian Made A Weird Choice
Soon after Hadrian recovered from his attack, he did something no one expected: He announced that his successor was going to be a dude named Lucius Ceionius Commodus. People were...absolutely horrified. See, our friend Lucius wasn't exactly emperor material. He was old, sickly, and frail. This guy could barely stand under his own power, let alone run the Roman Empire.
So why on earth did Emperor Hadrian make the Crypt Keeper his heir? Well, it all has to do with our boy Marcus Aurelius.
7. Hadrian Loved Him
If anyone thought Marcus Aurelius was a weirdo, Hadrian wasn't one of them. The ailing emperor thought he was just the man for the job, but Marcus was still too young to become emperor. But, here's the important part: Marcus Aurelius was engaged to marry old Commodus's daughter. So, Hadrian figured he'd make Commodus his heir, then Commodus would croak pretty quickly, leaving Marcus Aurelius the emperor.
I know what you're thinking: That plan's more convoluted than an 80s action movie, no way it's going to work. Well, guess what? It didn't.
8. His Father-In-Law Croaked
In 138 AD, the most obvious thing in the world happened: Lucius Ceionius Commodus fell ill and passed. That's right: Hadrian was already on death's door, and his heir still didn't manage to outlive him. Pretty sure he got plenty of "I-told-you-sos" after that one. Instead, he made a guy named Antoninus Pius his heir. Since a gentle breeze wasn't about to knock Antoninus over, I'd say he was an upgrade.
So, what about our boy Marcus Aurelius? Don't you worry, thanks he was very much still in the picture.
9. He Swapped Fiancees
Hadrian really wanted Marcus Aurelius to become emperor one day, but it took some really messy dealing to get it done. Basically, after his first heir kicked the bucket, Hadrian made Antoninus Pius his heir, then had him adopt Marcus Aurelius as his son. Then, to really seal the deal, he made Marcus dump his fiance and marry Antoninus Pius's daughter.
Did I just say that Marcus Aurelius married his new sister? Yes, I did. Turns out, Romans loved marrying their sisters.
10. He Went From Nobody To HeirFile:Antoninus Pius Palatino Inv1219.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
Now that Marcus Aurelius was officially in line to become emperor, Hadrian decided he was pretty much done with this whole "living" thing. He tried to take his own life several times, but people kept stopping him, so Hadrian decided to do it the old-fashioned way: He went to a ritzy seaside resort and started eating and drinking anything and everything he ever wanted.
Yeah, he didn't last long. Hadrian passed, Antoninus Pius became emperor, and suddenly our friend Marcus Aurelius was one of the most important people in the Empire—and that brought a whole host of new problems.
11. He Had So Many Kids
In 145, Marcus Aurelius married his sister-but-not-really, Faustina the Younger. This wouldn't end up being the greatest relationship, as you'll soon see, but at least this couple did one thing really well: Made babies. Faustina gave birth to their first child, a girl named Domitia, soon after their marriage. Domitia would be the first of a whopping 13 children.
But aside from that, I think it's fair to say their relationship was a total mess.
12. His Wife Had An Appetite
Marcus Aurelius was famously stern and reserved—Faustina? Not so much. Already a bit of a wild child, one vice possessed her more than the rest: Lust. I guess her Philosopher King wasn't exactly the most exciting partner, because she allegedly liked to sleep around. A lot. And this was the Roman Empire we're talking about, so she had no shortage of man meat.
This is why Faustina enjoyed one particular Roman tradition a little too much...
13. She Liked Tough Guys
The Roman Empire was one of the most militaristic societies in history, so it should come as no surprise that they held their own version of Fleet Week. Rome's finest legionaries, navymen, and gladiators would parade through the streets in their finest gear—and no one enjoyed the display more than Aurelius's wife Faustina. She would use the occasion to scout out new lovers.
But let's not be too quick to cast aspersions on poor Faustina—she faced more pain than most of us will see in our lifetimes.
14. They Suffered Heartbreak
Marcus Aurelius and Faustina's first daughter Domitia was a sickly child from the very beginning, and she barely clung to life for her first years. Almost immediately after she was born, Faustina became pregnant again, this time giving birth to twin boys. The couple rejoiced, but these were even more sickly than their first. The twins didn't survive long—and while grieving them, Domitia just got worse and worse.
15. He Lived His Worst NightmareFile:Roman Empress Faustina the Younger, 161-170 CE. Marble ...commons.wikimedia.org
Marcus Aurelius should have been spending his days preparing to rule an empire, but he spent most of his time looking after his frail daughter. Sadly, his doting couldn't save her—she passed at just three years old. The loss devastated the couple once again—and according to Aurelius's writings, this was a moment that changed him forever.
16. He Grew Hard
After losing Domitia, Aurelius wrote this: "One man prays: 'How I may not lose my little child', but you must pray: 'How I may not be afraid to lose him.'" Rather than buckle under the pain of losing his children, Aurelius steeled himself into the hard man he'd become. He would end up needing every bit of strength he possessed—because the hard times were only beginning.
17. His Kids Had A Bad Track Record
Though Marcus Aurelius fathered 13 children, only one son and four daughters outlived him. Not a great track record. And the one son who did outlive him wasn't exactly the kind of boy who would make a father proud...
18. His Son Was A Demon
In 161, Faustina gave birth to a healthy son. They named him Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus, but you probably only know him by the last part: Commodus, the only one of Marcus Aurelius's sons to live to adulthood. Unfortunately, Commodus didn't have much of his father in him...He'd go on to be one of the most bloodthirsty, arrogant, and hated emperors in Rome's history.
But that's jumping ahead—we haven't even gotten to Marcus Aurelius's ascension yet.
19. He Made It
It's a good thing Marcus Aurelius was a patient guy (his wife can attest to that), because he had to wait a long time before becoming emperor. Antoninus Pius reigned for 22 long years before he finally kicked the bucket. As soon as that happened, Marcus Aurelius finally became emperor—but there was a bit of a wrinkle. In a strange turn of events, Aurelius wasn't the only emperor.
20. He Didn't Rule AloneColossal head of Lucius Verus (mounted on a modern bust), … | Flickrwww.flickr.com
Marcus Aurelius didn't rule Rome alone at first. He had a co-emperor: Lucius Verus. Now, if you think that Roman emperors don't tend to be the "sharing" type, you'd be right. Though both of them were emperors, Marcus Aurelius technically had a little bit more power than Lucius Verus. He also happened to be smarter, calmer, and all-around less nuts than Verus.
And they both got along perfectly and nothing dramatic happened, right? Yeah, about that...
21. They Couldn't Have Been More Different
Poor Lucius Verus, the guy never stood a chance. See, Marcus Aurelius, for his all his faults and saucy personal life, was a pretty darn good emperor. That's why Roman historians called him the last of the Five Good Emperors. He kept Rome stable, managed to expand its borders, and didn't make half the empire despise him. If you're a Roman emperor, that's about as good as it gets.
On the other hand, history has almost entirely forgotten Lucius Verus. He was a total screw-up and he just couldn't manage to get himself out of Aurelius's shadow—but hey, at least he got a (super gross) consolation prize...
22. He Married His Brother To His Daughter
One thing is for sure: Unless your name is Commodus, you definitely did not want to be Marcus Aurelius's kid. First of all, you'd be lucky to see your first birthday. But then, even if you did, you'd probably end up married to some old dude before you were even a teenager. That was his daughter Annia Lucilla's fate. Aurelius betrothed her to his fully-adult co-emperor Lucius Verus when she was just 11 years old.
And if that's not gross enough, it gets worse. Aurelius and Verus were technically brothers, so that meant that Annia Lucilla wasn't just marrying a man decades older than her, but that man happened to be her uncle. Yick.
23. His Happy Times Didn't Last Long
Aside from marrying his daughter to his brother and his wife's taste for sailors and gladiators, the start of Marcus Aurelius's reign actually went pretty smoothly. In fact, he would call his first years as emperor the "happy times." Sounds nice right? Well, not really. See, if you call an early period the happy times, that can only mean one thing: There were some dark times ahead—and were there ever.
Marcus Aurelius's reign was about to devolve into chaos, and to make matters worse, his wife was at the center of it.
24. His Wife Had A Darker Side
According to Roman historians, Faustina the Younger played the game of thrones with the best of them: By that we mean, she never hesitated to poison or just flat-out execute anyone who got in her way. This was a serious contrast to her husband's more pragmatic approach to ruling, but hey, to each their own. And it's not like ol' Marcus Aurelius couldn't use the help. His predecessor had made sure of that...
25. His Predecessor Had BeefsTake It Personally Michael Jordan GIFGiphy
As he lay on his deathbed, Emperor Antoninus Pius laid down the equivalent of an Ancient Roman diss track. He spent his final moments calling out all the foreign kings and political adversaries who had wronged him like Michael Jordan at the Hall of Fame. No, Antoninus Pius wasn't exactly the most diplomatic guy—and that meant he left quite the mess for Marcus Aurelius to clean up.
Eventually, those old enemies came back to haunt him, and Aurelius learned there's a difference between learning how to run an empire and actually doing it.
26. He Faced Rebellion
One of the enemies Antoninus Pius name-checked in his final moments was the King of Parthia—with good reason. Not long into Marcus Aurelius's reign, said king revolted. To make matters worse, the Roman governor in the region, a guy named Severianus, was a bit of an idiot. Convinced he could take on the Parthians himself, Severianus charged straight at them...and got his entire legion massacred then took his own life.
The situation in Parthia was getting completely out of hand, but Marcus Aurelius came up with a devious plan—a plan that could kill two birds with one stone.
27. His Partner Was A Disaster
Parthia was in revolt, but Marcus Aurelius had another problem: He co-emperor Lucius Verus. While Aurelius was all about running an empire, Verus was all about spending money, partying, and sleeping around, and it was starting to get embarrassing. So, Marcus Aurelius decided there was nothing like a little campaigning to straighten a man out. He sent Verus to Parthia to deal with the upstart king, hoping the conflict would teach him how to be a better emperor.
If you think that's what happened, you're greatly overestimating the incorrigible Lucius Verus.
28. His Plan Failed Miserably
Marcus Aurelius hoped Verus would lead his Roman legions to victory over the treacherous Parthian king. Verus said, "Nah." He spent the entire time partying and gambling with a bunch of bohemian actors while other men handled the conflict. Rather than make Verus finally smarten up, if anything, it made him even worse.
That didn't stop him from taking all the credit when Rome captured the Parthian king's main stronghold, though. But that's not nearly the worst thing he did during his little vacay in Parthia...
29. His Cousin Paid The Price
Anyone who knew Lucius Verus knew not to trust him very far, and that included Marcus Aurelius. He sent his cousin Libo along with Verus to keep an eye on the debaucherous emperor. However, Libo mysteriously turned up dead very early on in the campaign—and few people thought it was an accident. Historians have long speculated that Verus personally had Libo taken out of the picture so he'd be free to party as he pleased.
30. He Was Almost Too NiceFile:Cicero Denounces Catiline in the Roman Senate by Cesare ...en.m.wikipedia.org
It's hard to imagine two emperors more different than Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. Verus went about doing whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted—which almost always meant drinking and gambling and almost never meant running an empire. Meanwhile, Marcus Aurelius always asked the Senate for permission whenever he wanted to spend money on a new project even though, as emperor, he could do whatever the heck he wanted.
But let's not go thinking that Marcus Aurelius was some saint. He was good...as far as Roman emperors go. As you're about to see, that was a pretty low bar to clear.
31. He Had A Dark Side Too
The early days of the Roman Empire weren't exactly the best time to be a Christian. Roman emperors brutally oppressed members of the fledgling religion—and somehow Marcus Aurelius managed to top them all. Under this "good emperor," not only did the Roman Empire persecute more Christians than ever, but the punishments they doled out got even harsher.
Apparently, Marcus Aurelius hadn't read the bible: If you mess with Christians, you get a plague—and one of the worst the world had ever seen was coming.
32. He Faced A New Danger
The world was changing fast while Marcus Aurelius was emperor. Trade networks spread further than ever before, and the Romans actually made contact with China for the first time ever. This meant goods and information spread across the globe—but that's not the only thing that spread. Around 165, Marcus Aurelius would face his greatest enemy yet. It came back with the soldiers from the East, and it claimed more lives than any battle ever could.
The Antonine Plague had arrived.
33. His Empire Suffered
As if Lucius Verus's campaign in the East couldn't have gone any worse, when he came back to Rome, he brought the plague with him. Believed to be smallpox or maybe measles, whatever it was, it hit Rome like a ton of bricks. People started dying by the thousands every single day. In a matter of months, Marcus Aurelius's hold on his empire started slipping—but at least there he found a silver lining to this catastrophe.
34. He Found The Bright Side
The Antonine Plague was one of the most horrifying events in human history. By the time it had ended, it had claimed the lives of up to 10 million people. However, it did solve at least one of Marcus Aurelius's problems: In 169, Aurelius's hapless co-emperor fell suddenly ill and passed at just 38 years old. Reports at the time said it was food poisoning, but many historians have speculated it was the plague.
Perhaps Roman officials didn't want people thinking a grand, divine emperor had died the same way as the common people. Either way, that was one less headache for Marcus Aurelius—but the worst scandal of his reign was soon to follow.
35. His Problems Piled Upperson walking near The Great SphinxPhoto by Spencer Davis on Unsplash
They didn't have email in the Roman Empire, so that meant news traveled really slowly. And when news did arrive, who can say if it was even true. That's what happened when a general, Avidius Cassius, received earth-shattering news in Egypt: Marcus Aurelius was no more. He wasted no time in proclaiming himself emperor, completely unaware that Marcus Aurelius was very much alive.
The whole thing started with a simple misunderstanding, but it would end in bloodshed.
36. The Pretender Screwed Up
The smart thing for Cassius to do would have been to renounce his claim to the throne once he realized Marcus Aurelius lived, but no one who wants to rule the Roman Empire would give up power that easily. By the time he heard the truth, he already had two legions behind him and he decided he kinda liked this whole empire thing. That was the biggest mistake he ever made.
37. He Got A Head In The Mail
Cassius got to enjoy being a fake emperor for exactly three months and six days. After he realized the news of Marcus Aurelius's passing was greatly exaggerated, he kept up the charade, but the writing was on the wall. Soon enough, one of his own centurians stabbed him in the back—literally. They then cut off his head and sent it straight to Marcus Aurelius to prove their loyalty.
The head absolutely horrified Aurelius, and he refused to even look at it. Granted a head would horrify most people, but the Romans tended to be into that kind of thing. Maybe he dreaded it so much because he knew who was behind this betrayal...
38. His Worst Betrayal
According to the histories, none other than Faustina herself, Marcus Aurelius's own wife, put Cassius up to the whole thing. She knew that her husband was growing old and frail, so she wanted to set up a puppet emperor to keep the throne warm until her son Commodus came of age. As if it wasn't enough to sleep around on her husband, but now she stabbed him in the back too...
39. His Wife's End Was Mysterious
If indeed it was Faustina behind the false emperor, she didn't last long enough to try something like that again. She passed in 175 under mysterious circumstances; no historian is exactly sure what happened to her. So, not only did Marcus Aurelius outlive the majority of his children, but he also outlived his much-younger wife, too.
I guess he was too busy to die. After all, he was plenty busy finishing his greatest accomplishment—the thing that would make him a legend.
40. The World Read His DiaryFragment of a bronze portrait of Marcus Aurelius, probably… | Flickrwww.flickr.com
Marcus Aurelius's book Meditations is maybe his greatest accomplishment. Written over the course of 20 years, it's his reflection on life, politics, and philosophy. This landmark work has been studied by countless scholars over the centuries—which makes this next part a little awkward: Aurelius didn't want anyone reading it! He called the work, "To Himself" because it was basically his secret diary, intended for his eyes only.
Apparently, no one cares about an emperor's privacy after he's gone...
41. He Faded Away
Some Roman emperors died at the hands of their own soldiers. Some took their own lives, or partied so hard their hearts gave up. Marcus Aurelius was not one of those. This simple, reserved man met a simple, reserved end. He passed from unknown causes in 180 AD. He was nearly 60 and had been ill for years, and the man had surprisingly few enemies for a Roman emperor, so few historians think there was foul play involved.
The foul play would come later, because with Marcus Aurelius gone, Rome was about to enter a dark time.
42. He Was The Last Good One
When you picture the Roman Empire, you probably picture the 200 years of the Pax Romana, between the reigns of Augustus and Marcus Aurelius. Those were the golden years. Next came our boy's son Commodus, a spoiled and violent dictator whose rule threw Rome into utter chaos. From there, it was basically one long descent to the fall of Rome a couple centuries later. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.
43. His Nepotism Doomed Rome
So where the heck did everything go wrong? Here's one clue: Commodus marked the first time ever that a biological son succeeded his father as Emperor of Rome. Why's that so bad? Well, recent emperors had tended to choose heirs who they thought would make good emperors. Commodus was a brat whose mother spoiled him rotten and believed he deserved the throne with no effort. See the problem?
And the saddest part is, Marcus Aurelius saw all of this coming, yet was powerless to stop it.
44. He Didn't Believe In His Son
Marcus Aurelius knew his kid was a screw-up. He feared that Commodus would be a poor emperor, more interested in his own hedonistic pleasures than in actually ruling an empire. Well, this is one time Marcus Aurelius was actually wrong. Commodus wasn't just a poor emperor—he was one of the worst emperors ever.
45. Commodus Was Worse Than Anyone Imaginedcommodus as hercules | The vainglorious megalomaniac emperor… | Flickrwww.flickr.com
Anyone who says, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree" has never heard of Commodus. While his father was intelligent, reserved, and thoughtful, Commodus was arrogant, brash, and cruel. Convinced Hercules was his ancestor, Commodus loved nothing more than doing demigod cosplay and entering the gladiator area to murder innocents and slaughter animals.
And that's not even close to the worst of it. He neglected his people, bankrupted the Empire, and eventually fell to an assassin. So much for "making daddy proud."
46. There Was One Truly Scandalous Story About Him
No matter how much Commodus stained Marcus Aurelius's legacy, everyone still considered the latter a pretty remarkable man. But even remarkable men have skeletons in their closets, and there was one chilling rumor that dogged Marcus Aurelius wherever he went. His wife's many affairs were an open secret throughout Rome—but one of her flings got a lot more disturbing than the rest.
47. His Wife Fell In Love
Faustina allegedly had many partners, but one of them was special. Multiple ancient sources claim that she actually fell in love with a nameless gladiator. Two things made this man different: Faustina actually cared for him, and Marcus Aurelius found out about him. And when the emperor did learn about his wife's affair, his response was absolutely twisted.
48. He Asked For Help
Marcus Aurelius was never one to rush into anything, so when he found out about his wife's new man, he asked some Chaldean soothsayers for advice. And boy oh boy, did they give it. The soothsayers had the perfect way for Marcus Aurelius to reclaim his manhood. First, they said Faustina must sleep with the gladiator one last time. I'm sure Aurelius wasn't too excited about that part—but it's what came next that was the truly messed up part.
49. He Did Some Weird Stuff In The Bedroom
The soothsayers had Faustina sleep with her gladiator—then had Aurelius stab the man while they were doing it. Pretty dark, right? We're just getting started. Then, he made Faustina bathe in the man's blood, and once she was good and lathered up, Aurelius slept with her over the man's still-warm body! If you think Roman histories are boring, you're not reading closely enough, because this stuff is straight out of 50 Shades of Grey fan-fic.
50. Did He Like It?File:Marcus Aurelius auf dem Pferd.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
After that bananas bit of foreplay, one question remains: Why the heck did Marcus Aurelius put up with his wife's constant affairs? He was, after all, the emperor of the freaking Roman empire, and he could have left her if he wanted. Well, evidently, he believed that as the last emperor's daughter, "her dowry was the empire." Basically, he thought if he left her, he'd have no claim to the throne anymore.
I don't know if I really buy that—maybe he was just into it?
As young students, we often looked up to our teachers...well, at least some of us did.
For the most part, we sought our valiant educators for guidance, as they put up with many of our antics as adolescents trying to find our place in the world.
Some students, however, had the odd situation in which they felt their teachers had wronged them.
Curious to hear from strangers online about their lingering bitterness, Redditor SparkelsTR asked:
"What is something your teacher did in school that you’re still salty about?"
These Redditors unjustly failed the assignment.
The Day Hopes Were Smashed
"20 years ago, we had to make a diorama. We all had them sitting on tables in the classroom and one day some other kid was messing around, fell into the table and smashed mine. I failed the assignment for having a smashed diorama."
"In middle school I did a display with real fossils that my parents had let me borrow. The teacher was insistent that I sell the fossils to him. But I refused."
"So the teacher gave me an F on the display."
"What the f'k, did you tell your parents about it? (I know at that age it can be hard, no judgement if you didn't)"
New Kid In Town
"At the end of my first week at a new school, the teacher handed out slips of paper with our current grade. I had a solid A at my old school, but the teacher said I had an F. I asked her why. She said I didn't hand in the quarter project. I reminded her I had just moved to the school. She said we would give me the weekend to do it. The project was to interview a longtime local resident and write a paper about their experiences. The articles were being collected for a book she was 'writing.' I failed the class."
"I had a teach accuse me and a classmate of cheating on an exam because we had the same answer. It was a multiple choice test and she was upset we both had it correct."
Some teachers just fail in humanity.
"In about 91, I was starting to get into animals, specifically marine animals. I wanted to be a marine biologist so i thought. Junior year in HS we all knew we had to do a bug collection. So I went on a family trip out of state and collected bugs in preparation. I put a lot of time into it. Mr Cope, the worst biology teacher ever, failed me because 'I could not have collected bugs he’d never seen.' Completely shattered my confidence and desire to peruse science of any sort. F'k you Mr Cope."
"I had really severe eczema on my hands as a kid. I used to keep them tucked up in my sleeves to avoid 1 people seeing them and 2 getting blood on my paper - yes, it was that bad. She called me out during a test and said to take my hands out of my sleeves because 'it’s not like that’s gonna help my grade.' I was a shy kid and silently cried through the rest of the test. Also, I was a straight A, gifted student, so why she was acting like I had poor grade I never knew. I’ll never forget that woman being needlessly cruel to a child who was already in physical pain."
Punishing The Innocent
"She told me to get the hell out of her classroom because I forgot to get something signed by my mom. She then marked me as truant and played dumb when the principal got involved."
"Similar story. My mother had me relay a question to my kindergarten teacher about an upcoming field trip. When I asked my teacher started screaming at me. I don’t recall all she said other than continuing to call me stupid and threatening to have me paddled by the principal. I just remember going back and wanting to hide under my desk with everyone staring at me. This was just one example of her behavior."
"That sh*t impacted me for years."
Shy Of An "A"
"Never gave my art a higher grade than a B+. Even though she asked me every year if she could hold my art back, to show everyone how to correctly apply a technique or what she wanted from everyone else that next year. Not good enough for an A, but this is perfect and it's what I want everyone to do. Which is it then? B*tch."
Being bullied is common, but not so much when it's the teachers who are causing the harm.
"Threatened to hit me when, as a brand new mid-term transfer in Grade 3, I was too scared to speak to ask for her help, so I had tapped her on the arm instead to get her attention. Apparently, that warranted threatening to assault an 8 yo in the 90s."
"I had been there less than 2 weeks and had just transferred from a school of 40 to a school of over 200."
"Some teacher did the same to me when I transfered from primary to middle grade (small town, one school had kindergarden up to 4th grade then the second one has 5th grade to 8th grade then it was 9 to 12 at another one). I tapped her at recess because I had been waiting to ask her something for 10 minutes and she wasn't looking at my raised hand. She absolutely lost it and berated me. Turns out she had had cancer in that arm not too long ago and wasn't comfortable being touched. I understand but I didn't know about that and I was only like 10 y.o."
"High school psychology teacher 'evaluated' me in front of the whole class as 'mentally troubled' and told everyone that I’m 'an undiagnosed ADD-case with 99% certainty'. And because she was a psych teacher, everyone took her word for it."
"Yeah, thanks for making everyone think I was mental throughout high school and giving me nagging self-doubts if I really did have ADD for most of my 20s, until I got that medically ruled out."
"I wasn’t always the best behaved kid and even back then I understood that, but that was pretty harsh of her."
Growing up Japanese American in Los Angeles, I attended a school every Saturday for Japanese students who were temporarily staying in the US so that my parents were assured I would be in an environment where I could communicate in the native language.
One of the cultural health regimens incorporated into our classes was an exercise/stretching session where we followed an instructor and moved our bodies to recorded piano music. It was called "Radio Taiso"–or radio exercise.
So, being the most agile and naturally limber student in the class, I clearly demonstrated my advanced physical abilities.
However, I was embarrassed for it by a teacher who was observing the session to make sure all the students were giving proper form.
She asked me, in front of my fellow middle-school students, "Are you a homo?" in Japanese.
"Why yes, I am!" was not an answer I was prepared to give at 14, even though I knew I was different and didn't like girls.
That moment traumatized me further into the closet, and it took me a long time to get over that shame until I was ready and came out at 21.
Not a day goes by when we won't have to make a decision of some kind.
On rare occasions, we might even have to make an extremely serious decision which we know will have major consequences down the line.
These might include accepting a job that would require you to move cities, whether or not staying in your relationship is good for you, or almost literally life or death decisions about your own health.
Most of the time however, the decisions we are forced to make day in and day out are fairly minor, such as whether to walk or take the subway, or coffee or tea with your breakfast.
Whatever we choose, it won't end up having any major effect or ramifications on our lives.
Or will it?
Redditor his_Check_4267 was curious to hear if anyone ever made what seemed like a minor decision that ended up having a major effect on their life, leading them to ask:
"What's a small, seemingly insignificant decision you've made that ended up having a huge impact on your life?"
When The Wrong Train Ended Up Being The Right One...
"Took the wrong train in a new city to a job a minimum wage job that I didn't want but needed at the time."
"Asked a random guy for directions when phone GPS still kind of sucked."
"He happened to be going in the same general direction."
"We rode a train together and nerded out on films we were into."
"He was an aspiring filmaker (very beginnings of aspirations), and I was just a film nerd without any post high school education or thought of 'breaking into the industry'."
"We ended up becoming roommates and collaborators eventually."
"Sold our first film to IFC like 2 years ago."- SrgtSquarePants
Right Place, Right Time
"Worked in a kindergarten during my gap years between high school and university."
"I didn't even plan to go at the time."
"A kid with speech and social issues happened to take a special liking to me, resulting in me agreeing to work closely with his speech therapist, despite only being the teachers assistant."
"This reignited my interest in language and made me apply to be a linguistics major."
"My high school grades made it a long shot, but it turns out that very year they tested out a new system of accepting 50% of students based on motivational essays, to try to combat a high drop out rate in linguistics."
"I made it in on that, they ditched it the next year cause it didn't work."
"I now have masters in Language Psychology and start teaching at the same university this semester."
"If I had applied literally any other year, my chances would have been like lottery odds."- MonsieurRudGraduation Graduate GIF by Reba McEntireGiphy
Secret Setup Maybe?...
"Me and 2 other coworkers decided to grab some dinner after our shift."
"One ended up cancelling, so I thought my other coworker would cancel too."
"We were both hungry, so we decided to still grab dinner together."
"We'd been coworkers for over a year and have always gotten along, but this dinner truly felt like a first date."
"It was so enjoyable and we talked so much that we didn't realize the restaurant had been closed and that the workers had been cleaning up around us."
"Servers were too nice to interrupt our conversation."
"Him and I ended up falling in love soon after that."
"Been together for over 6 happy years and wouldn't change a thing."- stereotypedhonesty
Cracked The Code
"I had a blog where I couldn’t figure out some HTML code, so I emailed the blog of another person who had figured it and they sent me the code."
"They lived about 1,000 miles from me and had never spoken before."
"Four years later we’re married, bought a house, and have a child together."- Manejarart evolve GIF by ashleyrobertsGiphy
Some Bad Habits Pay Off...
"Was at a conference and stepped outside for a smoke."
"Bumped into a friend of mine who introduced me to the man he was walking with."
"That man encouraged me to apply for an opening in his office and, six months later, he hired me."
"It was the job that jumpstarted my career, changing my trajectory."
"And all because of a bad habit."- The_Dude311
Closer And Closer To The Action
"I took a job in an Emergency Room doing insurance paperwork."
"I thought 'Okay but what happens before they get to the hospital?"'"
"That exposure lead to a career as a 1st Responder."
"I never would have imagined I would be helping people in Emergencies been doing it every day for decades."- YerekYeeter·
There Is Always A Way Back...
"I went to prison for a robbery."
"I did it."
"I was a heroin addict."
"After almost 5 years in, at a work center, I got a write-up which would make me stay in for a few months longer."
"The warden offered a deal if I would paint a mural at a local high school of their mascot, they'd forgive the writeup."
"I had always been good at drawing (they knew that which is why they asked) but had never done a mural."
"I figured out how to scale it up in my head and did it."
" I got out about 6 months later and made it my career."
"I'm now married, happy, and fully booked until summer of next year for work, owning my own business."
"In September, I will have been out for 10 years."
"I also hid my initials in the high school mascot mural."- therealbiggravyrainbow painting GIFGiphy
Home Is Where The Heart Is
"I was flying to Costa Rica to go backpacking south from there, my sister told me to fly into Guatemala, I had to see it."
"So I did, and here I am still 10 years later, with a son and a life I never imagined."- Old_Insect
Some Things Are Worth The Risk
"I was doing online dating with no success and I was ready to give up."
"I almost canceled my date just out of pessimism but figured it was already scheduled, I’ll just go and if it doesn’t work out I’ll just take a break from dating."
"The date lasted about 8 hours and 15 years later we’re still together."- Rolling_Beardo
Hey, You Never Know...
"Entered the green card lottery."
"Friend was trying to figure out how to do it, so I downloaded the instructions and completed an application to show them how."
"Since it was easier than asking them for all their info, I made a dummy application using my own info."
"When I was done I thought 'meh, might as well' and dropped my application into the outgoing mail."
"Then forgot all about it."
"I was highly confused when, nearly a year later, I got a letter from the state dept."
"I’ve been in the US for 20 years now, married, kids, the whole thing."
"Biggest change I ever made, and it was just a random 15-minute thing I did to help a buddy."- dbpnzLottery Lotto GIFGiphy
It Pays To Share
"On a night out I went to Burger King and at the last second decided to get chicken nuggets with my burger instead of chips."
"I ate the burger but didn't feel like the nuggets by this point (and wished I'd gotten chips instead) so I asked the person opposite me on the bus if he wanted them."
"My exact words were 'ay lad do you want my chicken nuggets?'"
"He said yes and we got talking."
"That was 16 years ago and now we are married with a beautiful daughter."- gembob891
Even when it seems like it doesn't matter in the moment, it's always worth thinking carefully before making any decision.
As sometimes, taking the long route or ordering a second round could end up being the very decision that changes your life forever.
When COVID first got bad, and my job became WFH, I didn't know the extent of it and thought we'd only be out for a few weeks, so even though I moved home because there were fewer cases in my hometown, I didn't give up my apartment, thinking I'd be back soon.
At the same time, I decided to go back to school, so I was paying both tuition and rent for a place I wasn't living in. It took about six months for me to realize COVID wasn't short-lived, and I let my apartment go. I wish I had known that before.
It definitely could've been worse, but I still did lose a lot of money for no reason.
To date, this is the most expensive mistake I have ever made, and hopefully, it always will be.
Redditors are no stranger to expensive mistakes, and they are ready to share their own.
It all started when Redditor lugulaga asked:
"What is your most expensive mistake?"
"I moved in with the wrong people and lost 95% of my posessions. It's a long f**ked up story but basically they changed the locks while I was at work and I couldn't get to anything that proved I lived there and then they moved everything in a day with a moving service. I can't even track them down because they were using false names and were apparently subletting instead of owning and they used false names when they rented the property. It was the most f**ked I've ever been in my life."
"I haven't found hide nor hair of them since...I suspect they hauled off across the country..."
Buy For The Future
"Not buying a house when I was in the 3rd grade."
"Same. I saved my money for Ninja Turtles and Transformers. I should have be looking at the big picture."
"No joke, I had passed on buying a house a $45k because I thought "It will be fine I'll buy a house later." The same house is worth $200k+ now. It would be paid off by now if I had just gone through with it 😭"
"Selling my condo 8 years ago to move in with my now ex gf."
"I hear ya on that one"
"This is it. I, among many I’m guessing, got my job without the need of my degree. It might’ve helped. But it didn’t help worth the amount of debt I’m in."
"I was working for over 15 years in ten different jobs before an employer went and verified my degree."
"Marrying my wife."
"She's like tropical storm - came wild and wet, and when she left, she took the house and the car."
"I wish that was a joke, but wasn't."
"Same here. My ex was horrible with finances, ended up being in 5-digit credit card debt, filed for bankruptcy, etc.. She almost had her car repossessed after she spent $2,000 to get it fixed and had two payments left on it (seriously???)."
"After the divorce, I ended up with about 1/4 of my 401K, I (voluntarily) gave up the house (I was moving back home anyway). She continued to rack up charges on my credit card (it had a low limit anyway) even though she was no longer authorized."
"Luckily, here I am 10 years later and much better off financially."
Throwing Away Money
"In 2009 (or so, can't remember the date, but sometime between 2008-2011) my buddy got really into Bitcoin."
"It was back when bitcoin cost like, $5 per coin."
"I didn't understand it, I still don't really understand it. But back then, I had no desire to learn about this thing that seemed like a fad/scam."
"He did, however, convince me to invest, if only to shut him up."
"So I threw $50 his way and told him to get me 9-10, and he set me up with the bitcoins, and put them on a USB for me. Which, again, is another thing I didn't really understand or care about."
"So I tossed that usb in a box and didn't give a sh*t about it."
"When I later moved, I was packing things, and came across the usb I had labeled with something stupid. I still didn't care about bitcoin, and offered it to the guys I was living with."
"I remember one of them saying "dude, are you sure, bitcoin is at 10$.""
"I truly didn't care enough to learn about bitcoin, or even what to do with the usb to get the bitcoins off of it (or whatever you do with it) to bother figuring out how to recoup my $50 so I shrugged, tossed it at him, and moved out."
"Queue... the years that followed when I learned that my apathy and laziness had me give away what could have been today, something like $350,000cad, or closer to $850,000 at it's peak."
"My biggest financial mistake was giving away that $50. Could have really used that $50 over the years."
"I was a head housekeeper at a small but very popular niche hotel. And expensive. I lost the master set of keys that could access every room in the place. My boss was on a 2 week trip in Africa and couldn't be reached. I had to use the company card to get a locksmith to replace all the locks on the doors quickly, because at that point, I didn't know if the keys had been swiped or if I had left them somewhere by accident..can't really f**k around with that though. I'm not gonna be responsible for someone getting murdered because I was too cheap to fix my mistake. It cost a ton of money. Boss was irate, but didn't fire me."
"Two days later I cleaned out my purse to switch it. Found the keys had slipped into a hole I didn't know was there in the liner.... never told a f**kin soul till just now."
That Company Sure Grew
"I'm in Finance. I bought 100 shares of a little company because it pissed me off that Blockbuster charged me $88 in late fees. With this I could watch them whenever I wanted for a flat fee each month and as a bonus, they actually mailed the DVD's to you in the mail...you didn't have to drive to town and go inside and rent them. I thought it was a cool idea. We didn't really have much money back then so when we budgeted poorly I sold them for a $2000 profit. Was kinda happy about too lol."
"Damn, Netflix....I sure could use that $700,000 I missed out on 🥲"
We'll Make You A Star!
"I don't know if this is still a thing, but back when I was a kid, there were these "talent agents" that would "hire you" because you had the looks/talent to be a star. This was just a scam for you to pay them a bunch of money ( i think it ended up costing my parents around a grand) for acting classes that weren't real classes and other random fees."
"I knew someone that did this. I was there when someone said, "if they think your kid is so talented why arent they paying you?""
"Obviously real celebrities need to have an agent, and pay them, but the look on the woman's face when that was asked was pretty telling that she hadn't realized she was being conned."
"I would have these people walk up to me and hand me a card literally every time I went to Astroworld when I was a teenager. In my head I was always like "sweet! Easy gig, free money!" But my dad always shot it down and said it was all just a scam and wouldn't let me pursue it. Stupid parents always being right..."
Time To Move To Canada
"As a newly wed, my wife felt very strongly that we get adequate health insurance. We had some from my work but it wasn't enough. We got a $4k check for a tax return and started shopping.. we found an agent, asked for a good year policy and paid him $4k. We paid for a year in full."
"The moment the check clears, the new policy sends us a letter saying that everything we thought we were paying for was no longer covered because we had another (primary) policy and would only cover certain events when my other crappy policy reached the out-of-pocket maximum of like $10k.. I paid $4k extra and still didn't have affordable access to regular Dr visits or preventive care."
"This was American Family Insurance. Absolute scam artists."
"Renovating my house before selling it. In the end, the renovations didn't increase the selling price a bit. Now the new owners have an amazing house and I don't have the money I was going to use to renovate my own."
"Renovate a house for yourself, not someone else."
"I don't feel comfortable telling you the names of my kids"
Yeah, there are few things less expensive than a child. Luckily, they're also a blessing, so it should even out!