Saturday, October 14, 2017

Commentary on Meditations: B6:26-27

If someone puts to you the question 'How is the name Antoninus spelt?', will you shout your way through each of the syllables? What then if they get angry? Will you lose your temper too? Will you not rather calmly go through the sequence of letters, telling each one in turn? So also in your life here remember that every duty is the completed sum of certain actions. You must observe these, without being disconcerted or answering others' resentment with your own, but following each purpose methodically to its end.

How cruel it is not to allow people to strive for what seems to them their interest and advantage! And yet in a way you are forbidding them to do this, when you fuss that they are wrong: they are surely drawn to their own interest and advantage. 'But it is not actually so': well then, teach them, show them, do not fuss.

My last name is often mis-spelled by people.  I've seen it slaughtered so many times.  It also doesn't help that by flipped two letter in my last name, it spells a legitimate last name.  I've learned to simply use military alphabet when spelling my last name - every time.  I used to be upset by it, but I've learned to accept it and it no longer bothers me.  I imagine Marcus was in the same boat.  Just spell it out, no need to add anger on top.  If other people become impatient or upset, then I must remain calm too.  It does me no good and it does then no service to get upset when they are angry.  I get to choose when and how I will act and react.  I will not let others "trigger" me.

No need to be a dictator in every aspect of life.  If no harm is being done, the allow others their opinion - live and let live.  If logically other's choices are not sound, then reason with them; use your god-given gifts of reason and persuasion to help them.  Otherwise, live and let live.

In summary, only you (yourself) can cause you to be upset with others.  And when working with others, live and let live.  If correction is needed, use reason.

(see also Citadel p. 225-226, 268)

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