Vicissitudes of fortune

Morning all! Hope y’all are well and enjoying life. As I’ve been writing tonight and thinking a lot – facilitated by Marcus Aurelius – I’m getting motivation for some decent blogs.

A couple points from Emperor Aurelius:

“Bear in mind that the measure of a man is the worth of the things he cares about.”

“The gods sustain and guide all their works. Not even the vicissitudes of fortune are correct to nature or to the providential ordering of the universe. It all flows from the gods, who determine what is needed for the welfare of the whole universe, of which you are a part. What is good for each part of nature like yourself is whatever the whole of nature provides and whatever tends to sustain it. Now it is change that sustains the whole universe – both the simple changes occurring within individual parts as well as the complex changes occurring among parts in combination. Let these thoughts set your mind at ease and keep them as your guiding principles. Thirst no more for books, so that you will not die mumbling to yourself, but at peace, truly, and with your heart full of thanksgiving to the gods.”

Let’s just get this out of the way – the Musonda of this man are a great inspiration to me and the subject of much deep thought and inner reflection.

We bear witness to two kinds of spectacular events with every breath, every blink, every heart beat. The first is the simple actions of nature – processes and systems that function seemingly in independence. Simple and straight forward…a training, an offhand conversation about health, a working together to clear a field, digging a pit latrine, a bird in flight, rains rolling across a river valley.

And then we are subject to the complexities of nature, combinations, systems, and actions building off each other and developing into change and development – seasons, river systems, weather patterns, the circle of life – communities – society – hierarchy and traditional structures. The big picture if you will. All functioning according to plan? Who’s plan? Well, that is a whole other blog post isn’t it.

We act in simple movements, words, gestures and motions, but we create complex systems of change and exploration that create the future we desire. Seeing the big picture – manipulating the simple to rule the complex is the providence of God – but the work of men and the vision of leaders make reality incarnate.

We are subject to the systems we live in, but we rule the simple combinations, the little day-to-day specifics. With our choices we step forward as masters of our reality. Knowledge has it’s place, but participation is required and necessary for proper development. In order to realize our dreams we must participate in our now. We cannot end up thirsting for knowledge, hoarding it to us, hungering to keep it closeted away – or we will die ‘mumbling to’ ourselves without peace, removed from the natural order of existence.

Books, knowledge, resources have their place – but they are nothing if not utilized. If we fail to observe and act within the simple and complex changes that “sustain the whole universe”, we fail to sustain ourselves and die without peace and thanksgiving. What is good for the part is whatever is necessary to preserve the whole – for without the whole there is nothing and without the individual there is no whole. It falls then, that the whole, once aware must work and provide those needed resources to sustain the individual in order to continue on into the future.

That community awareness is the goal of development – the purpose of society – governments – civilization. It is for the whole to serve the individual in order to perpetuate itself. Spectacular. So developing community awareness of the importance of the individual to the health of the group is essential and it is only by strengthening the individual, one life at a time, that the whole is preserved and enhanced. Makes sense right? It’s only natural – the providence of the gods… Or is it? It is the providence of man – our world is ours, our actions are ours, our choices are ours to make. We are responsible and it is us who will create the future. We make the intangible tangible and we can’t do that by abandoning a simple part hoping that the whole will continue on without it. It can’t it won’t. If we abandon our responsibility to each and every man, woman and child of our world – we abandon ourselves – because we cannot continue as the whole.

We are not controlled by the vicissitudes of fortune – but by our very nature, by our choices and by our actions.

Choose to participate – stop making excuses – secure your own future by securing that of your fellow human beings. What is more valuable than the future of our children, education, freedom from pain, suffering and debilitating illness and humanity.



One response to “Vicissitudes of fortune”

  1. Dan Avatar

    Well said!

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