Saturday, 11 May 2013

Today I Shall Come Across...

[Today] I shall come across the meddler, the ungrateful, the insolent, the deceitful, the slanderer, the unneighbourly.
                                                                -Meditations 2:1

     Nobody likes bad people.  Bad people don't even like bad people.  But they exist, and they exist in great numbers.  It's just a simple fact.  And everybody - except for the most naive of children - knows this. 
     So why, then, do they frustrate, trouble and even hurt us so much when we come across them in our daily lives?  
     It is because we want the world to be something other than what it is.  Like a child that cries when the rain spoils his playtime plans, we groan when we have to deal with a poor personality.  But wanton men are every bit a part of reality as the rain.  
     The Stoic is a pious man.  He yields always to God's will.  He knows Providence orders the Universe, right down to the smallest detail.  As a pious man, he does not hope, expect or wish the Universe to be anything other than what it is.
     Emperor Marcus does not awake in the morning, kneel at his bed and pray that God will protect him from evil doers.  Instead, he rises at daybreak and reminds himself that he will surely encounter them.