16 February 2012

Quote for today on right attitude in the face of crisis

Let us train our minds to desire what the situation demands.
– Seneca the Younger
Seneca, also known as Lucius Annaeus Seneca or Seneca the Younger (ca. 4 BC – AD 65), was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, and dramatist of the Silver Age of Latin literature.

This was an challenging quote for me to get my head around at first. It wasn't really intuitive for me. Sure I get "training our minds," "desire," and "what the situation demands," but it took some time for me to realize what the point was. (Maybe I was just especially dense that day?)  ツ

Anyway, I eventually figured out that this can be said as, "I need to align my 'wants' with the with the actions required by my life's circumstances." Wordier, yes, but still clearer to me.

This has relevance to our preparedness, of course... specifically to our mental preparedness and our response to any crises we face.

For example, facing a power outage can be enormously stressful if you are only willing to accept the "normal" life you're used to. It can take a lot of mental energy worrying about "if only things were different."

Better to not only accept the new circumstances, but also work on desiring them. Try pretending that you're camping, or looking at the experience as a new adventure, or as learning how people in other places or times live... anything that can bring your "wants" into alignment with the actions demanded by the situation.

Your turn: was this quote obvious to you? How have you tried to do this in your life?

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