Sunday, November 1, 2015
For me every event is beneficial if I so wish, because it is within my power to derive benefit from every experience. (Enchiridion, 18).
Tomorrow, Monday November 2, Stoic Week 2015 begins. Ironic since yesterday I had played on me a dental trick, caused by a Halloween treat. As I was calling two hospitals to see if they had emergency dentists, I thought what a great chance to practice Stoic self-control, which was an easy to thing to contemplate since I was in no pain.
Indeed, what a great chance. When the hospital operators answered, they spoke too fast to readily understand and in flashes of deep irritation I demanded they speak so I could understand. So much for the self- control.
I think now I could have done better with “bear and forbear” Such employees have said the same thing thousands of times so they are hyper-fluent. Also emergencies are just another day at work to them. And after all, I’m dealing with people that work in the huge bureaucracy – why should they speak in a way their clients, customers, and patients can understand? Where else are they gonna go? Get real, here, stop shoulding, expecting them to act in any other way than they way they act.
And as for the self-control, because I was in no pain, I just carried on doing what I would have done anyway on a lazy Saturday. The stoic theme yesterday was to look death straight on, so I read a Simenon hard novel called The Old Man Dies, about the family fissures exposed by the sudden death of head of the family.
So I get to start Stoic Week by going to the dentist. Happily, I’m first at the dentist at 8:30, to derive benefit from every experience, in the form of a new front tooth that won’t distract the attention of pronunciation students looking at my mouth, teeth, and tongue.
I hope so, anyway, but if I don't get that, it won't be awful.