This month’s Meditation comes from Book One, Entry Five.
From the Stanisforth translation:
It was my tutor who dissuaded me from patronizing Green or Blue* at the races, or Light or Heavy^ in the ring, and encouraged me not to be afraid of work, to be sparing in my wants, attend to my own needs, mind my own business, and never listen to gossip.
*The colours of the rival charioteers in the Circus. Roman enthusiasm for these races was unbounded; successful drivers earned large fortunes and became popular idols.
^In one form of gladiatorial combat (the ‘Thracian’) the opponents were armed with light rounds bucklers; in another (the ‘Samnite’) they carried heavy oblong shields.
[Those notes also came from the Stanisforth translation in the Penguin Great Ideas edition of Meditations.]
Much of the Stoic philosophy has to do with simplicity in all things and remaining focused on what’s most important. That was the theme of the selection for the first month, as well.
The difference is this quote is also about not allowing outside influences and trivialities to distract you from tasks and responsibilities.
s-types who are self sufficient in terms of their own needs, as well as being hard workers and who don’t make unnecessary requests will be more highly valued than those who are lazy, demanding and expect their D-type to do everything for them.
(This doesn’t mean to keep difficulties in the relationship to yourself in order not to make a fuss for your D-type–this is more concerning day-to-day practicalities.)
When I use this one I leave it as is and keep the intention in mind, but if you’d like to turn this one into something to use to regain your focus during the day, in the mornings or moments when you find yourself distracted you could substitute names of the things that draw your focus from what’s important. Following sports, television, video games—anything that takes more time than is healthy.
‘It was my tutor’ would be replaced with ‘it is my D-type’ who dissuades me from [time wasting activity 1] or [time wasting activity 2] and encourages me not to be afraid of work, to be sparing in my wants, attend to my own needs, mind my own business, and never listen to gossip.