“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” James.
Do you think Mr. James, (1842-1910) one of the founders of psychology, was referring to ‘turn the other cheek?’ Seems like it. Or maybe ‘choose your battles carefully’ is another truism that suits the quotation. For good mental health, this is right up at the top of the skills list, alongside the number one skill, assertiveness. Actually, knowing what to overlook can be deciphered by the assertiveness formula. If we can’t let it go, after we’ve considered how we see it, how it’s made us feel and what we need, then we can’t overlook it without risking being passive. Passivity breeds depression, malcontent and in many cases physical illness. Aggressiveness gets us into all kinds of trouble. So practice assertiveness. Maybe we should ask William if he minds if we change his quote by adding: “The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook and when to be assertive.” I really don’t think he would mind. Do you?
 William James, 1890. The Principles of Psychology, vol. 2, ch. 22. From the Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations, by Augarde, pg. 112. Oxford University Press, 1991.