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Carry On Keeping Calm!

 Emperor of Rome from 161 to 180 AD Marcus Aurelius kept a journal subsequently published as his “Meditations”. I love finding old wisdom that is as applicable to our times as to when it was first written. Here are a few quotations (various translations) from “Meditations”.

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.

You take things you don’t control and define them as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ And so of course when the ‘bad’ things happen, or the ‘good’ ones don’t, you blame the gods and feel hatred for the people responsible, or those you decide to make responsible.

That all is as thinking makes it so, and you control your thinking. So remove your judgments whenever you wish and then there is calm.

Today I escaped from anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions, not outside.

 Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason, which today arm you against the present.

Frightened of change? But what can exist without it? What’s closer to nature’s heart? Can you take a hot bath and leave the firewood as it was? Eat food without transforming it? Can any vital process take place without something being changed?

To sum it all up, how you react to an event is more important than the event itself.

John Parker

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