Profit from All

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!

5 thoughts on “Profit from All

  • I believe you are right! The old adage, “That which does not kill you makes you stronger.” is the way to approach any seeming negative experience. I don’t think tough times are a requirement to maturity but they seem to come to each person at some point. The choice seems to be strengthing your tolerance muscle or chipping away more of your resolve. I think there is more to it too. There is a fine quality of character availabe that man has seldom witnessed heretofore that is our birthright and these experiences can assist in it’s development. Wonderful mediation, thank you!

  • The poverty mindset is an excellent way to describe this approach in life. If you always feel you’re trodden upon, don’t have enough, or never have what you need when you need it, then you will always be poor in spirit, if not also in actuality. There is infinite abundance within ourselves if we will allow it to be and you’ve offered some great points for doing that on your blog.

  • This is an insightful piece! There is really no need to judge the actions and expressions of others relative to oneself, because the only real point is to let it all be used to the greatest possible advantage, to become increasingly stronger and more balanced to achieve one’s specialized purpose.

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