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Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Are You Upset?

For what, then, has god made you responsible? For that which alone is in your power, the proper use of appearance. Why then do you then feel upset about the things which you are not responsible for? This is only bringing trouble to yourself.                            --- Epictetus

 In these turbulent times, it might be a good idea to listen to what Epictetus has to say. I see and hear all manner of people extremely upset over things they have no power over and often things said that are unverified or distorted.

So and so says XYZ and another says LMN. Pundits then say opposite things about them, and people rage, not being present at the event and not being privy to any inside information to verify, or being too lazy to research. Extreme ravings ensue. 

That's where we are now - polarized.

Before we get upset, let's do some research, listen to all sides, think, use logic, sprinkle with common sense. Take a breath. Calm down. 

Once that is done ask - Is there something I can and should do about it? Is it mine to do?  Do I have expertise in this area? Do I need to learn more?

Say it's a Constitutional issue. Read the Constitution. Listen to arguments pro and con. Think about it logically, not from left or right bias. 

Say it's a religious issue. Do some research perhaps in history, archeology, the study of ancient languages, etc. There are mountains of book, podcasts and YouTube videos from actual scholars. Before you upset yourself, get informed.

If you are still livid, you are in your limbic brain and not using your cerebral cortex. Don't make any decision out of emotionality. You are likely to make things worse. 

Taking responsibility for our own reactions or responses is the sign of maturity and wisdom.

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