Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Commentary on Meditations: B7:73-75

When you have done good and another has benefited, why do you still look, as fools do, for a third thing besides - credit for good works, or a return?

No one tires of receiving benefit: and action in accordance with nature is your own benefit. Do not then tire of benefit gained by benefit given.

The nature of the Whole sets itself to create a universe. So now either everything that comes into being springs from that as logical consequence, or else even the primary aims to which the directing mind of the universe sets its own impulse are irrational. Reminding yourself of this will help you to face much with greater tranquility.

Bragging or even wanting recognition for service rendered is not aligned with nature.  Elsewhere in his Meditations, Marcus mentions horses that run, dogs that track, vines that produce grapes, and bees that make honey.  When they have done what they were supposed to be doing, they are not conscious of it.  So too, a human ought not to be conscious of simply doing their duty by serving others (social action; see also Book 5:6).

Just as you probably don't tire of receiving benefits when others serve you, do not tire of giving benefit to others by constantly serving.  In short, don't ever get tired or think you are tired of service.  The Christian adage of this same thought is, "do not grow weary of doing good" (see Galatians 6:9).

Reminding yourself that anything that can happen in the Universe, in turn, benefits the Universe can help you be at greater peace with events that are beyond your control.

(see also Citadel p. 43, 160, 200-201)

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