We all have choices.
Good or bad is our impression of them. Some that we thought were good will turn out bad. Some that we thought were bad will turn out good.
One thing we do not choose is what happens to us.
“No one can implicate me in ugliness…To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are obstructions.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 2.1
Getting angry at someone who has done something wrong to us is a natural, visceral reaction. Staying angry and becoming bitter is a choice.
“Choose to not be harmed – you won’t be harmed. Don’t feel harmed – you haven’t been.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 4.7
Most people are not evil. You have to assume that they are doing what they think is right, even if you don’t.
“People are usually trying to do what they think is best…they just aren’t always thinking about how “what’s best” might affect you.” – Daily Stoic Newsletter email
It doesn’t really matter why they do what they do. You have no control over that.
Your choice comes with how you respond.
No one knows what other people are going through. Therefore we cannot judge their choices.
We need to have compassion for everyone around us, even when they have down wrong by you.
Compassion will let you respond thoughtfully when someone does you wrong.
You may not like their choice, but who’s to say you would have chose differently under the circumstances.
Choose forgiveness. Choose to move forward in a positive direction.
“Everyone gets one life to live. Yours is almost used up, and instead of treating yourself with respect, you have entrusted your own happiness to the souls of others.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 2.6
Don’t leave your choices up to someone else. Take control of your life and happiness.