Somewhere Someone’s Dying
Today’s Daily Stoic Meditation outlines that you cannot be consumed by news reports and events.
You need to take action, and then go back to your individual duty.
“Whenever disturbing news is delivered to you, bear in mind that no news can ever be relevant to your reasoned choice. Can anyone break news to you that your assumptions or desires are wrong? No way! But they can tell you someone died — even so, what is that to you?”
— EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 3.18.1–2
Often we may find ourselves consumed by news.
With mobile phones, TV’s and newspapers, news can spread like wildfire.
News from distant countries, news from nearby towns — we hear about it all.
Often, it can consume us, and negatively impact our lives.
We may often find ourselves wanting to help those affected, or stop the suffering.
This is all well and good, for sympathy is a great virtue.
However, it can reach a point where these emotions do nothing asides take away from your serenity.
You need to ask yourself, can you actually do anything?
Can You Do Anything?
Can you do anything?
Can you truly take action and help those suffering?
If you can, please do!
Do all in your power to help those that need it.
But if you can’t, which is often the likely outcome when it comes to distant news and events you have no connection with, you need to see emoting as the end.
If you cannot do anything to help the situation, you need to get back to your own individual duty.
You cannot let these news reports take away from your serenity and peace any longer!
Emoting As The End
If it turns out that, as in most cases, you cannot do anything, see emoting as the end.
See all the emotions you feel as an end.
Go back to your duty and your reasoned choice.