Sunday, 15 September 2013

Bearing One's Lot With Grace

No longer allow this thing that I am to bear ungraciously whatever is allotted for it in the present or lament over whatever is allotted for it in the future.

                                                    Meditations 2:2

     What an unfortunate creature, the man who would grumble against his lot! He at once neither alters it, nor displays any manliness of character. Moreover, he must necessarily be miserable, as his lot is apportioned from without, not from within.   

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Do Not Become A Puppet On A String

No longer allow this thing that I am be pulled about by an unsocial impulse like a puppet on a string.
                                           Meditations 2:2

     In this age that so highly prizes individuality and independence, it is unusual to consider an "unsocial" or "selfish impulse" to be the cause of one's becoming like "a puppet on a string." Whatever other evils such an impulse might bring about, certainly a loss of personal freedom could not be one of them, could it?
     The Stoic, like other classical virtue ethicists, understood that Man is a social creature, a civic animal; and that such an "unsocial impulse," then, is not a natural impulse. Whatever is against Nature is enslaving, not liberating.