Welcome to Day One of Stoic Week.
By now, you should already have completed the online questionnaire, introduced yourself to either our Facebook or Google community, and read the introductory chapters, in preparation for the week ahead.
Please read today’s chapter online or download the the handbook and read it offline.
Now take a moment to consider today’s morning text for reflection and post your thoughts or questions about this to our discussion group.
From Maximus [I have learnt the importance of these things]: to be master of oneself and not carried this way and that; to be cheerful under all circumstances, including illness; a character with a harmonious blend of gentleness and dignity; readiness to tackle the task in hand without complaint; the confidence everyone had that whatever he said he meant and whatever he did was not done with bad intent; never to be astonished or panic-stricken, and never to be hurried or to hang back or be at a loss or downcast or cringing or on the other hand angry or suspicious; to be ready to help or forgive, and to be truthful; to give the impression of someone whose character is naturally upright rather than having undergone correction; the fact that no-one could have thought that Maximus looked down on him, or could have presumed to suppose that he was better than Maximus; and to have great personal charm. – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 1.14
Although I have had quite some difficulty with practicing
this, I know this is all for the best. The practicalities of everyday life are just a bit complexer and harder…
So, though it is day 3, I begin with a comment on this wonderful excerpt from Marcus for day 1. I was traveling from Nebraska to Indiana on day 1 and 2, so I am behind. And what is natural to do when one finds oneself to have fallen behind? RUSH!
I often find myself rushing. I am quite aware of my deeply ingrained habit of rushing when I am driving my car. I recognize that I usually drive aggressively. This is bad. I am striving to catch myself when I am driving too aggressively–when I am RUSHING to get to where I want to go–and to heed Marcus’ advice to NOT RUSH.
I also often rush when performing domestic tasks, like getting washed up, dressing, preparing a meal, cleaning the kitchen, or whatnot. Slowing down and being mindful of what I am doing will allow me to do it well and deliberately, instead of dropping things because I am rushing.
Thank you, Marcus, for reminding me not to rush and to strive to be upright in all my dealings with others.