The Daily Stoic for November 11th, “It’s Not The Thing, It’s What We Make Of It”.

“When you are distressed by an external thing, it’s not the thing itself that troubles you, but only your judgment of it. And you can wipe this out at a moment’s notice.

—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 8.47

Finally, this today’s stoic meditation has reconciled me to the stoic philosophy. During the last days, and the last stoics, I was under the impression that the stoic philosophy was bordering on conformism and passivity.

It’s Not The Thing, It’s What We Make Of It

However, reading that sentence “Let’s not confuse acceptance with passivity” helped me understand that stoicism is not encouraging you to be a passive victim of fate. Accepting things does not mean we still cannot fight against fate or try to do our best in spite of adversity.

So how do you get to that point where acceptance and resolution meet? Well, I believe you get there on your own when you start suffering unfortunate events, to the point of almost loosing hope, but then you decide that they are not going to stop you from reaching your goals.

In my experience, acceptance occurs just after a lot of those bad moments hit you. It gets to a point when you move past the “why me?” moaning and realize shit happens. Life is not fair, and will probably never be, and you need to stop complaining and start doing something if you want to get somewhere.

And that’s one of the things I think I have learned this year. It’s been a very intense year. Lots of good and -specially- bad stuff happening. Stoicism has been an essential tool for me to go through the latter, and I’m glad to be writing these stoics, learning and growing every single day.

Conclusion

Today’s Daily Stoic, “It’s Not The Thing, It’s What We Make Of It”, finally helped me understand that, for the stoics, acceptance does not mean passivity.

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