Are there books you go back to often? Maybe it’s the story, maybe it’s a a specific character, or maybe it’s the lesson learned. For some reason you are compelled to go back to it often. Which book is it for you?
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius seems to have its own gravitational pull. When I have a moment to choose a book to read next it can quietly sneak into my mind and not let go. When traveling for work or fun I can’t help but pack it in my backpack. When I’m lost in thought I’ll occasionally have one of the lines pop into my head.
After finishing up my last book on my early morning drive today Meditations just seemed right. In a crazy way this and the last book (New Seeds of Contemplation) seemed to be a perfect match for each other. They almost seem to line up in surprising ways.
When reading Meditations today there was one section in particular that stuck in my head and has been rolling around in the back of my mind all day:
It’s unfortunate that this has happened.
No. It’s fortunate that this has happened and I’ve remained unharmed by it – not shattered by the present or frightened of the future. It could have happened to anyone. But not everyone could have remained unharmed by it. Why treat the one as a misfortune rather than the other as fortunate? …does what’s happened keep you from acting with justice, generosity, self-control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, straightforwardness, and all the other qualities that allow a person’s nature to fulfill itself?
So remember this principle when something threatens to cause you pain: the thing itself was no misfortune at all; to endure it and prevail is great good fortune.
What a great bit of knowledge to keep in mind as I face difficulties. Stay calm, view the challenge accordingly, do what is right, and be thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow.