“The Fates guide the person who accepts them and hinder the person who resists them.” — Cleanthes of Assos
This quote summarizes… well, Stoicism as a whole.
Take the word stoic and think about its definition, ignoring the philosophy behind it. According to google, stoic is defined as follows:
a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining.
The word Stoic describes someone who accepts the current situation and moves forward with it. The philosophy of Stoicism encourages it’s practitioners to embody this character until death. It encourages people to take control over their emotions instead of the other way around. Many people misunderstand and think that Stoicism encourages people to stifle their emotions and not feel at all. I can not stress enough that this is not the case in any way; stoicism is about seizing control over your emotions, not stifling them. The reason for this is that emotions eventually build up enough steam to explode out of whatever container you put them in. Emotions are powerful, but dangerous. Any boy scout has heard the phrase “it’s a tool, not a toy” when they learn how to use a knife. The same applies to emotions.
How does this relate to our quote?
Well, because “fate” is influenced by emotions. The things that happen to us influence our emotions, and our emotions influence the things that happen to us. Obviously we can’t change the things that happen to us, but we have full control over our emotions. Which means we can change the things that are going to happen to us — at least a little bit.
However, we can’t change our current situation or our future if we spend time trying to force the past to change. We can’t change what’s already happened, we can only change our thoughts about it. If we waste time trying to change the past, we lose control of the present and in turn, the future. In order to move on from the past, we have to accept what happened and take pride in the fact that we did something to make something happen, whether it’s good or bad. We need to learn to take pride in the fact that we’re creator’s in our lives and we have control over things — and then we need to use that control over ourselves to our advantage. And thus, the fates guide the person who accepts them, and hinder the person who resists them.
What do you think? What do you do to accept your circumstances, and how has that helped you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Feel free to leave a like, and definitely share this with your friends! They might thank you later for sharing this information with them. Stay tuned for future blog posts every Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, and try to be the reason someone smiles today 🙂