The Daily Stoic for November 6th, “Someone Else Is Spinning The Thread” (Picture courtesy of Sam Lehman).

“If the breaking day sees someone proud,
The ending day sees them brought low.
No one should put too much trust in triumph,
No one should give up hope of trials improving.
Clotho mixes one with the other and stops
Fortune from resting, spinning every fate around.
No one has had so much divine favor
That they could guarantee themselves tomorrow.
God keeps our lives hurtling on,
Spinning in a whirlwind.”

—SENECA, THYESTES, 613

Life can change in an instant. Several times a day in fact. While we can always change our path, and our decisions are the ultimate force driving our future, we are not in control of our life.

Someone Else Is Spinning The Thread

Clotho was one of the Three Fates or Moirai who spin (Clotho), draw out (Lachesis) and cut (Atropos) the thread of Life in ancient Greek mythology. I always loved that visual representation of fate as three women handling the thread of life.

Even if these figures are godlike creatures from the Greek mythology, they are a representation of the fact that we are aware of the futility of trying to control our fate. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Moirai, God, or just chance. We are, ultimately, not in control of our lives. We could suffer an accident, being awarded a huge prize, get a fatal illness or the biggest promotions.

All those facts can potentially affect our lives permanently. What we can control is basically how we react to those facts, how we decide to carry on, or make the best out of what fate brought to us.

However, there’s always this resistance. We have grown up in an anthropocentric world. We’ve been told we are the ones who control our destiny. We have the right not only of looking for happiness, but of reaching it. And all that is great. I think you can always change your life and be and do what you want. But sometimes we need to be humble and remember that eventually, we can’t have total control of our lives.

Conclusion

Today’s Daily Stoic, “Someone Else Is Spinning The Thread”, discusses how our fate, no matter how hard we try to control it, is not in our hands.

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