The Daily Stoic for September 28th, “You Hold The Trump Card”.
“How appropriate that the gods put under our control only the most powerful ability that governs all the rest—the ability to make the right use of external appearances—and that they didn’t put anything else under our control. Was this simply because they weren’t willing to give us more? I think if it had been possible they would have given us more, but it was impossible.”EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 1.1.7–8
Three hundred sixty five stoic meditations are a lot. Necessarily, the author will need to repeat one topic. I just think the one about what we control and what we don’t has been repeated too much.
So what does today’s stoic adds to the discussion?
You Hold The Trump Card
This “trump card” is our ability to decide how we respond to external events. Even if we don’t control them, we can choose to see them under the right light, or at least interpret them “the right way”.
But what’s the “right way”? Is there a “right way” at all?
Well, I’m not quite sure. I would say probably not. But I can affirm that stoicism really helps you react to things in a better way. I’m talking about bad things.
In my case, my whole hospitalization, and recently the apparently bad news that I received from a medical report, made me realize that I’ve indeed changed my way of reacting to things in mere 9 months.
Not that things don’t scare me, stress me or worry me anymore. I’m not superman. But in a way, I have learned to accept that things can go wrong. Things will always go wrong one day or another. So accepting that right away and focusing on solving your problems is perhaps the best way of coping with those situations.
I know this might sound weird, and probably it is. But yeah, that’s at least how I feel lately. Today, I’m feeling better than yesterday. I had almost no pain, I felt a little more like myself again, I felt stronger. Looking forward, that’s all that matters.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “You Hold The Trump Card”, repeats again the topic of what we can control: how we react to outside events we can’t control.