Can any profit be derived from these men? Aye, from all.
“What, even from a reviler?”
Why, tell me what profit a wrestler gains from him who exercises him beforehand? The very greatest: he trains me in the practice of endurance, of controlling my temper, of gentle ways. You deny it. What, the man who lays hold of my neck, and disciplines loins and shoulders, does me good, . . . while he that trains me to keep my temper does me none? This is what it means, not knowing how to gain advantage from men! Is my neighbour bad? Bad to himself, but good to me: he brings my good temper, my gentleness into play. Is my father bad? Bad to himself, but good to me. This is the rod of Hermes; touch what you will with it, they say, and it becomes gold. Nay, but bring what you will and I will transmute it into Good. Bring sickness, bring death, bring poverty and reproach, bring trial for life—all these things through the rod of Hermes shall be turned to profit. – Epictetus
Do you carry with you the rod of Hermes? Have you mastered the art of transmuting all that comes your way to good? Or are you still bound by the limitations, that which is absent and those elements of circumstance which are unpleasant, coarse or lowly?
Reflect upon recent challenges you have faced and successfully overcome and you will invariably recognize how you were made stronger by the interaction, confrontation or threat. Blame, complaint and judgment cloud the picture and prevent you from seeing the advantage you have in any and every situation.
The energy of the reproach of your bitterest enemies can be your greatest blessing when you look at it from the right perspective. Overcome the poverty mindset…you can profit from all!