Roman Calendar

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Defiant Gratefulness

Defiant Gratefulness

     This morning, I received in my e-mail inbox this link from The Art of Manliness to an article entitled "Every Man's Call to Defiant Gratefulness" -

     I was struck by the fact that this coincides almost exactly with how I have always attempted to integrate painful experiences into my long-term consciousness and personality - with an attitude of gratitude for the opportunities granted me by adversity. I shan't claim that I am always successful in doing so, and certainly it is hard to do so in the immediate aftermath of disaster  - one almost always needs time to process truly traumatic events - but certainly, what has not killed me has only made me stronger (to paraphrase Nietzsche). 

     I cannot help but reflect that this is just the way I was raised - my parents encouraged this attitude in me, in different ways - so I've had it all my life. But as I have grown older and my education and reading have advanced, it also reminds me of the teachings of the Stoics. One can easily imagine Marcus Aurelius counseling a radical gratitude for adversity in life. I know of several letters to Lucilius in which Seneca counsels exactly that. So for me, this is an aspect of life in which the philosophies I have adopted coincide with and grow from beliefs with which I was raised - it is nice not to have to unlearn something I have learned, in order to be true to myself. 

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