“It’s unfortunate that this happened. No. It’s fortunate that this happened and I’ve remained unharmed by it – not shattered by the present or frightened of the future. It could have happened to anyone. But not everyone could have remained unharmed by it…So remember this principle when something threatens to cause you pain: the thing itself was no misfortune at all; to endure it and prevail is good fortune.”Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Book IV
It is readings like this that make studying the stoic texts so worthwhile.
How steady would we be with a mindset like this?
There are real troubles in this world. Some people get cut out at the knees.
But you and I? If we’re fortunate enough to read this, we have the power to reframe whatever misfortunes come our way.
This is something to be thankful for.
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I re-read this short essay by Tim Urban every holiday season. I cannot recommend it enough.