Today is about the Stoic Reserve Clause and action. The Stoic position of acceptance or fatalism holds a seeming paradox in that we might expect the Stoic philosopher to be passive, a mere victim to the whim of the world. However both recorded history and the writings of these men prove the opposite.
Since our main chore is differentiating between those things which are under our control and those which are not, what we do after is sometimes not as focused upon.
It’s better to say we accept those things which we cannot control, and we try for more perfect control of those things which we may.
We should still for our very best, but this is merely a preference, the outcome is usually an indifferent.
A timely anecdote: today I have off work, and it’s my habit to take a long and relaxing bath in my free time. Unfortunately, I don’t have a bathtub at my apartment, so I often make use of the one at my parents’ house.
Today, I had just arrived to take my bath when a friend called me with a problem at his house. I experienced a momentary disappointment at havgin my plans twarted, but quickly set to thinking on it instead.
The absolute worst that could happen is that it could become an all day affair, and I wouldn’t get a bath today. I have backpacked often, and at times went a whole week without a proper bath or shower. One day wouldn’t kill me. But what was more likely was that I would help my friend, and merely take a bath later in the day.
I also experienced then a momentary cheering up feeling, for getting to practice acceptance, as well as getting to help out my friend.
All in all, I did eventually get my bath, accepted the change in my schedule preference, and was able to help a friend.
Additionally, my mood is often turned for the worse by such changes, and the exercise today helped to keep that from happening.