“The essence of good is a certain kind of reasoned choice; just as the essence of evil is another kind. What about externals, then? They are only the raw material for our reasoned choice, which finds its own good or evil in working with them. How will it find the good? Not by marveling at the material! For if judgments about the material are straight that makes our choices good, but if those judgments are twisted, our choices turn bad.” ~ Epictetus, Discourses, 1.29.1-3
Throughout the first week of this Daily Stoic journey, it seems that self-control and choice have been the main theme. Today is no different. You cannot maintain control by hiding in a bubble when external forces get wild. Instead, take in what is going on in the world, and it is your choice on what to do with it. Otherwise, you can get overwhelmed by what’s going on, then make rash thoughts and decisions which could lead down a dark path. Then it will be tough to come back from the chaos.
So, it goes back to being patient and pausing, and really take inventory of what is going on. Then you can filter out the initial negative reaction you may have, and allow yourself to have clear thoughts and proper judgement. The more you practice this – and man, have we had a lot of practice over this past year! – the more steady, stronger, and happier you will be.