Let it go – ancient advice for modern times

We find ourselves in vexed and vexatious times. Let it go.

Stop fretting and stressing over things you can’t control.

It isn’t the things themselves that disturb people, but the judgements that they form about them.

Epictetus (c.50 – 135), Handbook (5)


Leave another’s wrongdoing where it lies.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (9.20)

In particular, stop gnawing of every moment of news like a dog with a bone. Because 24-hour news is poisonous, and our media (broadcast, social and print) are tuned to manufacture outrage, doom and impervious gloom.

And because…

Your mind will be like its habitual thoughts; for the soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (5.16)

Let it go.

Instead, focus on what is within your control.

“Give your heart to the trade you have learnt, and draw refreshment from it.”

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (4.31)

You can’t travel to flee these problems, so look inside.

“Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul”

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (4.3)

After all…

“It is reason and wisdom which take away cares, not places affording wide views over the sea.”

Horace (65BC – 8BC), Epistles I, xi,25-6

At the end of the day,

Life is flux / Everything changes.

Heraclitus (c. 540 – 480BC)

And, eventually…

This too shall pass.

Unknown, medieval Persian Sufi poet

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash