One of the challenges for the Stoic is to accept our circumstances in the way the universe presents them to us. In a wonderful passage in The Meditations, Marcus provides what Pierre Hadot claims is a "prayer to the world":
"All that is in accord with you is in accord with me, O World! Nothing which occurs at the right time for you comes too soon or too late for me. All that your seasons produce, O Nature, is fruit for me. It is from you that all things come; all things are within you, and all things move toward you" (IV, 23).
I am drawn to this proclamation because of its seemingly genuine outcry to accept the things outside of our control. I am not sure of the circumstances that caused Marcus to write this passage, but I imagine that this was written at a time of distress. During his lifetime, Marcus dealt with a lot of political turmoil (not to mention Germanic invasions and the Antonine plague).
With each day we live, there is the possibility for many things to happen, whether good or bad. It is beneficial for us to stop labeling these things that happen to us in such a way, even though it can is satisfying to say "such and such an event is really good for me!" or "such and such an event is going to cause much turmoil."
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(cover image by Laurie Cooper)