"Here is the rule to remember in the future, When anything tempts one to be bitter: not, "This is a misfortune" but "To bear this worthily is good fortune."
- Marcus Aurelius
My own thoughts on the quote:
Marcus Aurelius was a Stoic and also a Stoic philosopher. However, he was also a Roman emperor. The Stoic way of thinking which Marcus Aurelius did embrace is all about controlling ones own feelings and ideas. Stoics want to make the best of even the bad and unfortunate situations in life, where one is helpless to change things by one's own actions.
There just are all many kinds of situations where ones needs to face hardship and trouble that are not of one's own making. They are too often brought about by bigger forces that mold societies, history and nature and most of all because of pure chance and bad luck.
However, this does not mean that Stoics would have thought that people should accept all things just as they come. There just are, however, inevitably many situations in life where one simply can not change anything with his or her actions.
In these situations, the Stoic way of thinking can still be a great tool in retaining ones sanity.
In certain situations even this is an achievement that is well worth striving for.
(Added 27th of August 2012)
The importance of this quote has grown tremendously during the last year for me personally. For nearly a year I have struggled with an incurable cancer of liver and lungs and also with the horrible side-effects of the chemotherapy that has kept me alive. I can now say from my own experience that the very simple idea of holding ones head high in the face of death and pain can really keep a man going even in the darkest hours of life.
"Marcus Aurelius (Latin: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus; (26 April 121 – 17 March 180), was Roman Emperor from 161 to 180. He ruled with Lucius Verus as co-emperor from 161 until Verus' death in 169. He was the last of the "Five Good Emperors", and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers."
(This entry was refurbished on 28th of August, 2012)