In one sense, we are powerless. We cannot control anything external to us.
Oh sure, we can take our little brother’s hand and smack him in the face, saying “stop hitting yourself.” This is nothing.
We cannot control who our brother is. We cannot make a person evolve. We cannot make them love us. We cannot change others. We cannot save others from themselves. We can’t stop people from trying to hurt us. And we cannot stop people from hurting themselves.
We are powerless.
We cannot force the world around us to change.
The only thing we truly control is ourselves.
But this is everything.
We control our reaction to others. We control how we feel about the world around us. We control whether we allow others to hurt us. We control how we let everything outside of us change us.
We control who we are. I am in control of the person I am. I am in control of the choices I make and the principles by which I live.
The ability to control who you are is the most powerful ability you could ever possess. And it’s yours. This is your miracle. This is your philosopher’s stone. This is your gift. And everyone has it. Everyone.
You choose the principles by which you live. You choose who you are. Every day. You are in control. You are powerful. And nobody can ever take this from you.
Disclaimer: I am not an expert in Stoicism. I am just a person who read most of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. This is my takeaway.