IF you perceive any of those things which you
have learned and studied occurring to you in
action, rejoice in them. If you have laid aside
ill-nature and reviling;
if you have lessened your
harshness, indecent language, inconsiderateness,
effeminacy; if you are not moved by the same
things as formerly, if not in the same manner as
formerly, you may keep a perpetual festival:
to-day, because you have behaved well in one
affair; to-morrow, because in another. How much
better a reason for sacrifice is this, than obtaining
a consulship or a government?
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iv. §4. ¶5.
WHENSOEVER by some present hard occurrences
thou art constrained to be in
some sort troubled and vexed, return unto thyself
as soon as may be, and be not out of tune
longer than thou must needs. For so shalt thou
be the better able to keep thy part another time,
and to maintain the harmony, if thou dost use
thyself to this continually; once out, presently to
have recourse unto it, and to begin again.
MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book vi. 9.
If, through your study of Stoic principles, you find yourself better able to respond to the events around you, able to make clearer choices, able to act with courage, compassion, justice, temperance and wisdom, then you have cause to rejoice. You have come closer to your true self. You are expressing more of your inherent potential. If, on the other hand, you find that you have fallen back into old habits, or that you have failed to be your own best self, do not grieve your lapse. You have merely taken a mis-step. Observe in yourself the cause of the change, try to learn the circumstances that led to your present place. With this understanding, return to your path, make what reparations you can, and continue on your way.ReplyDelete