These are turbulent times. COVID-19 is spreading, governments are failing, stock markets are falling, and sports are being cancelled. It’s been the Devil’s own day all month, it seems, and with no end in sight.
This is the time people say to panic. To pull up stakes and head for the hills. I find that this is actually a good time to turn inwards, to yourself. The philosopher-king of Rome, Marcus Aurelius, had many good and useful things to say about times such as these. As the emperor of Rome, he surely understood what it felt like to have the weight of the world on your shoulders, so his Meditations may be worth a read! For instance, consider this gem:
“When anything tempts you to feel bitter, think not ‘this is misfortune’, but ‘to bear this worthily is good fortune’.”
Maybe you’re not quite so capable of looking at misfortune as fortune; it’s one of those things that’s far easier said than done. Then consider this:
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
Be honest with yourself: there is absolutely nothing you can do to reverse the stocks, or stop the spread of the virus. You’re just one person in a big world. With that in mind, maybe you should turn off the news, put down your phone, and ignore the stock markets. Worry about the things you can control, like your own hygiene and health, and that of your family.
Now maybe philosophy doesn’t quite do it for you like it does for me. Well, who can resist a thoughtful pop-culture reference? I will leave you with the wise words of a very wise wizard: