Jan. 5 – Some things are simply outside of your control.

There are things which are within our power, and there are things which are beyond our power. – Epictetus, Enchiridion

When we think about Nature we tend to immediately recognize that some things are simply outside of our control. The weather can turn, an earthquake can strike and a volcano could erupt and we would never be upset at ourselves for failing to prevent a storm from occurring. I mean, Nature is just being Nature after all.

How strange, that we are not nearly as kind with chance in our daily lives. I think that’s a shame. There are many things in our lives that we cannot control and it would do us well to remember to treat ourselves and others kindly when we experience them.

Traffic, electrical grid blackouts and internet/cable outages are just a few examples of modern inconveniences which both remain outside of our control, and that we often allow to disrupt and disturb our peace of mind.

What good does it do to stress and complain about the things you cannot change? Just as you cannot change the traffic, you also cannot change the opinions of others, so why bother being upset about these things?

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make the best plans possible in our lives, but it does mean we shouldn’t be upset when things don’t go according to that plan. Nature is unpredictable after all, and therefore our lives are just as subject to change without notice.

So, be kind and patient. Make it your goal to always endure wisely the situations you cannot change. Don’t become another misanthrope or an angry zealot. Nobody needs another annoyance added to their lives so take care you never become one.

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