Stoic day 3 relationships love friendship and affection

Morning routine

Say to yourself first thing in the morning: I shall meet with people who are meddling, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, and unsociable. They are subject to these faults because of their ignorance of what is good and bad.

But I have recognised the nature of the good and seen that it is the right, and the nature of the bad and seen that it is the wrong, and the nature of the wrongdoer himself, and seen that he is related to me, not because he has the same blood or seed, but because he shares in the same mind and portion of divinity.

So I cannot be harmed by any of them, as no one will involve me in what is wrong. Nor can I be angry with my relative or hate him. We were born for cooperation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of upper and lower teeth. So to work against each other is contrary to nature; and resentment and rejection count as working against someone. – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 2.1

Morning. Read today’s morning text. Mentally prepare for your day ahead, preparing to meet setbacks or obstruction from others with equanimity.

I have seen and work with multiple countries teammates, culture, races throughout the years. In a regional role, I need to execute a global strategy and making sure that things got delivered here.

I am used to having all sorts of people in my team and learned to let go.

Midday. Take 5-10 minutes to sit quietly and reflect on your relationships and how you could potentially view things differently. What would be the consequences of doing so?

Reflecting on Your Relationships

Stoics think that ethical development has two main strands. One is learning how to make practical decisions in a way that reflects a progressive understanding of how to act in line with the virtues (wisdom, courage, justice, self-control). As we do this, we come to recognise that our happiness and fulfilment depends on developing the virtues rather than on acquiring ‘preferred indifferents’ without knowing how to use these properly. The other strand is learning how to relate properly to other people. Part of this process, discussed in tomorrow’s midday exercise, is expanding the scope of those people whose welfare we care about. Another part is using our growing understanding of the virtues to act virtuously towards the other people who share our lives. The text for evening reflection shows Marcus Aurelius bringing together his understanding of the virtues and his relationships to other people.

But what if difficulties arise in your relationships? Suppose people are unreasonably antagonistic to you and create problems for you, how should you respond? With anger and reciprocal hostility? No. Like Marcus in this morning’s text for reflection, you should use your developing understanding of virtue to stop yourself becoming hostile in turn. You should recognise, like him, that all human beings are our relatives because they all share the core human capacities for rationality and mutual care for each other. So, even if you cannot determine how other people act towards you, you can determine how you respond, and respond with tolerance, generosity and affectionate care for them.

I remember a lesson learned. Assume others have good intentions, its easier than thinking someone don’t care. In that case, your attitude towards the person becomes polite. Your tone of voice becomes soft and you want to find out what he or she is not understanding the issue.

Perhaps the person didn’t know that he or she owns the problem. Perhaps

Suppose people are unreasonably antagonistic to you and create problems for you, how should you respond? With anger and reciprocal hostility? No. Like Marcus in this morning’s text for reflection, you should use your developing understanding of virtue to stop yourself becoming hostile in turn. You should recognise, like him, that all human beings are our relatives because they all share the core human capacities for rationality and mutual care for each other. So, even if you cannot determine how other people act towards you, you can determine how you respond, and respond with tolerance, generosity and affectionate care for them.

I know one person who seems to hate me and the only thing I can only do is to reduce conversation. Reframe from talking bad about people, some flaws cannot be changed.

I am also telling myself that the subject is ignorant due to lower educations and assumptions and I should be more tolerant towards him or her. Sometimes even though the words that person said still hurts. I choose to remain calm.

Evening. Read today’s evening text. Reflect on the good qualities you might be able to perceive in other people and consider what you can learn from them.

Whenever you want to cheer yourself up, think of the good qualities of those who live with you: such as the energy of one, the decency of another, the generosity of another, and some other quality in someone else. There is nothing so cheering as the images of the virtues displayed in the characters of those who live with you, and grouped together as far as possible. So you should keep them ready at hand. – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 6.48

I miss laughter … look at the positive side of people. However to cheer myself, I exercise, sleep and be with positive people.

Highligted source modern stoic

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