The Daily Stoic for November 3rd, “Following The Doctor’s Orders”.
Just as we commonly hear people say the doctor prescribed someone particular riding exercises, or ice baths, or walking without shoes, we should in the same way say that nature prescribed someone to be diseased, or disabled, or to suffer any kind of impairment. In the case of the doctor, prescribed means something ordered to help aid someone’s healing. But in the case of nature, it means that what happens to each of us is ordered to help aid our destiny.—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 5.8.
I’m sick of doctors. I’ve been following doctor’s orders for more than two months now. So the idea with today’s stoic is an analogy: we need to consider negative things happening as something that was prescribed by our doctor.
In that sense, we will gladly accept those negative events, like we would accept a bitter medicine, because we know it’s in our best interest.
Following The Doctor’s Orders
There are some interesting concepts and links that come to mind. One of them is the asian concepts of Kharma and Dharma. Being punished or rewarded for our present actions in the future -either in this life or in future lives. They are as close to monotheistic western religions as asian belief systesms get. Heaven and Hell, good and bad… and actually related to the daily stoic from some days ago: We reap what we sow.
Another one is about the character. More specifically, how difficulties and struggles forge our character and make us more mature, interesting people. It’s true that, at least in my experience, the people I’ve known that never had to deal with anything negative are “spoiled” and not really people I like to hang out with.
That, of course, is a generalization, but quite ofter true. You probably know the type. These people from rich families, complaining about every insignificant and minor problem, that make you wonder how they will react when they face a real, serious problem.
Obviously, I am no better than anyone. My problems will also look insignificant to people with bigger issues. But at least I try not to complain about them. Stoicism has really helped me in this area. 🙂
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Following The Doctor’s Orders”,