“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” Marcus Aurelius
I searched for and posted the thought above to a Facebook page of a friend. I like to find words that have relevance in the modern day, that have held onto the relevance they have held through the times since they were first spoken.
Marcus Aurelius was the emperor of Rome two thousand years ago, and he was also a philosopher, using Stoic thought as his guide to the travails of life. He seems to have been a wise leader, and his wisdom is definitely still relevant to us in these modern times. He would consider his actions coming for each day, in the morning, and then in the evening, think of what the day had brought, and how he had acted.
Thinking on our lives in such Stoic Philosopher makes very much sense. There are so many options to take, and decisions to make, but in reality, when one considers the decisions with wisdom and thought, the end results, in keeping with Stoic thought, will be wise ones. Putting aside the myriad things that one cannot change, and that actually are not yours to decide on anyway, will clear space for you, cutting away the unnecessary and unneeded thought.
If it seems difficult to work against your natural inclinations, it may well be your brain trying to tell you the truth, it is not your business to act, so why are you working so hard to do something … Doing the best you can, for the things that truly are yours to decide upon, that is your Natural business, and those things are the important things for you to thnk on, and do.
A tree doesn’t try to make apple crumble, that is not natural for a tree to do, a tree though, an apple tree, will work at growing the apples that go toward making apple crumble. And an apple tree will grow those apples at the correct time. It will bloom in Spring, bees will pollinate the blossom, and then the fruit will grow and be ready to harvest at the appropriate time.
If you were to say you will make apple crumble next year, using your own home grown apples, but don’t do any of the necessary things every day, to actually grow apples, it will be nonsense. So yes, you may have had a thought about something you wish to do in the future, but there is work to do.
You also have to consider there may not be any fruit to use, even if you do actually plant an apple tree. And apple trees take time to go from just planted, to bearing fruit. Spending time studying how to grow your own apples, or asking those who know about such things are wise things to do, if that is something you wish to do.
So thinking of the future is never a guarantee that what you want will ever happen. If you use your reason, and do all of the things that need to be done, to have the things you want or need to live a good life, (with apple crumble if that is what makes for a good life for you), then your reason will help you to perform all of your necessary tasks.