I've found a new role model: Epictetus.
A fellow who's been dead for a long, long time!
Here's what Wikipedia says about him:
"Epictetus (Greek: Ἐπίκτητος; AD 55–AD 135) was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia (present day Parmukkale, Turkey) and lived in Rome until banishment when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece, where he lived the rest of his life.
The role of the Stoic teacher was to encourage his students to live the philosophic life, whose end was eudaimonia (‘happiness’ or ‘flourishing’), to be secured by living the life of reason, which – for Stoics – meant living virtuously and living ‘according to nature’.
The key to transforming oneself into the Stoic sophos (wise person) is to learn what is ‘in one’s power’, which involves not judging as good or bad anything that appears to one. For the only thing that is good is acting virtuously (that is, motivated by virtue), and the only thing that is bad is the opposite, acting viciously (that is, motivated by vice).
Someone who seeks to be a wise person wholly accepts one’s fate and the fate of the world as coming directly from the divine intelligence which makes the world the best that is possible."
Gobbledygook? Okay. He simplified it, and I've been adding his quotations to my list of daily reading materials.
I'm posting some of my favorites below, but remember, as you read them, keep yourself in mind.
Don't think about how someone else should be doing them, it's YOU that you can control. No one else. So don't worry about trying to change someone else, change yourself.
I also hope you will see that they say EXACTLY what messages in the Bible say. They're just worded differently.
Just as the parables were told in various forms: Jesus would tell a story about guys in a vineyard, and then say, 'He who has ears to hear, let him hear." And then he would move on and say it in another way.
These are kind of the parables of Epictetus, and I'm giving them to you, in case you have ears to hear this message this way.
Quotes from Epictetus
"Suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within one's power."
"Do not seek to bring things to pass in accordance with your wishes, but wish for them as they are, and you will find them."
"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."
And a biggie:
"If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it."
That Epictetus, one cool dude!
I send you my love and prayers, and I hope that you're blessed more than ever as you try to live your life realizing that things are exactly as they're supposed to be, even though we may not see the reason at the time.