Monday, November 2, 2015

Stoic Week Day #1

Monday, November 2, 2015, 4:49 ~ 5:05

Be like the headland on which the waves break constantly, which still stands firm while the foaming waters are put to rest around it. ‘It is my bad luck that this has happened to me! On the contrary, say, ‘It is my good luck that, although this has happened to me, I can bear it without getting upset, neither crushed by the present nor afraid of the future.’ (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 4.49)

“I can bear it without getting upset.” Re this dental emergency, whatever happens, I can deal with it. Let’s say the dentist can’t do anything with it and I have to go to class looking like a Jack O-Lantern. It’s embarrassing but so what? Embarrassment won’t kill me.

He fixes it but I get poor results, I look deformed or disfigured. There’re lots of people running around that they don’t like their own looks and other people even discriminate against them because of their looks, their deformity, their disfigurement. But the probability of poor results is not high. And if I am disfigured, I won’t like it, but it won’t be horrible. My teeth aren’t me, the most important feature of me, the part that makes me, me.

The dentist has to have me coming and coming over a period of time. What a hassle. But it’s a hassle that has an end. And in three months I won’t even remember coming and going.

The procedures will hurt. Again, who remembers the mild and moderate pain of most dental pain after it stops? Nobody. And doesn’t comfort feel better after physical discomfort goes away? Savor not feeling hurt.

I can bear it without getting upset. Maybe it has been good luck that this happened to open Stoic Week. It shows me practical results from the get-go.

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