This from yesterday’s Daily Stoic newsletter.
I’m quoting it wholly, because short though it may be; it packs such a powerful punch.
Your Uber driver is delayed and you want a credit for the inconvenience. Your house is damaged in a storm and you want your insurance to pay for every penny of the repairs. Someone says something pointed and personal at you, and you want them not only to apologize, but to convince you that they never meant it in the first place.
In short, you want to be made whole. And in our service economy—where the customer is always right—you often can be. Complain to Uber HQ or Amazon, complain on social media, call a lawyer. Maybe it will work. They might even compensate you for your troubles and you’ll come out ahead.
The problem is that when it comes to life, this is a very bad precedent.
Because shit happens, and Fate does not have a customer service department.
If we expect the universe (or God) to make us whole every time, we will be sorely disappointed.
The key then is to focus on not feeling like we’ve been harmed in the first place.
“Choose not to be harmed — and you won't feel harmed.
Don't feel harmed — and you haven't been.”
Have you really been hurt by the fact that you’re a few minutes late? Even after paying for storm repairs, are you not financially ahead of the vast majority of the planet? Did someone else’s words really cause true damage? And on and on.
The answer is no.
To the Stoic, there is no expectation of being made whole, because the Stoic strives to reject the idea of a loss having been incurred in the first place.
You should check them out.
And to the folks at The Daily Stoic, you have my undying gratitude for such a wonderful project :)
It was the hour of four in the afternoon, and already in hillside homesteads the day was nearly done.
There was everywhere an air of that sweet, old-fashioned leisure which the world has nearly lost.
It lingered in the slant sunlight that threw shadows across the winding road...
— Florence Bone (1875–1971), The Morning of To‑Day, 1907
Spent yesterday and today doing loads of writing.
One was a project for a friend.
The other, was another project for me :)
So even though, it isn’t here. I’m done :)
A thought only really lives until it has reached the boundary line of words; it then becomes petrified and dies immediately; yet it is as everlasting as the fossilised animals and plants of former ages.
Its existence, which is really momentary, may be compared to a crystal the instant it becomes crystallised.
As soon as a thought has found words it no longer exists in us or is serious in its deepest sense.
When it begins to exist for others it ceases to live in us; just as a child frees itself from its mother when it comes into existence.
Go thou to Rome,—at once the Paradise,
The grave, the city, and the wilderness;
And where its wrecks like shattered mountains rise,
And flowering weeds, and fragrant copses dress
The bones of Desolation’s nakedness
Pass, till the spirit of the spot shall lead
Thy footsteps to a slope of green access
Where, like an infant’s smile, over the dead
A light of laughing flowers along the grass is spread …
— Percy Bysshe Shelley, Adonais, 49.
Before I became old I tried to live well;
now that I am old, I shall try to die well;
but dying well means dying gladly.
— Seneca, Letter 61: On Meeting Death Cheerfully
“Trust that what brought you here
Will take you there.
The Infinite has no preferences.
It kisses both the darkness and
The light equally.”
“Every parent is at some point the father of the unreturned prodigal, with nothing to do but keep his house open to hope.”
Learning without thought is labor lost;
thought without learning is perilous.
“It takes courage to do what you want. Other people have a lot of plans for you. Nobody wants you to do what you want to do. They want you to go on their trip, but you can do what you want. I did. I went into the woods and read for five years.”
— Joseph Campbell
Exactly why I went and spent a whole month in Europe. It’s not quite the “done thing” for folks like me. But I wanted to. So I did.