Everything that can suffer, does suffer.

Everything that can die, will die.

You have suffered, you will suffer much more,
and a lifetime of your suffering will culminate in your death.

When you can muster genuine gratitude for all of that,
then you will have made the kind of progress
that is not easily reversed.

To develop sincere appreciation for this opportunity
to be born in a brutal world, not of your making,
to struggle and fail time and time again,
to feel repeatedly lost, bewildered, frustrated, and hopeless,
to swim in this ocean of misery, and, ultimately,
to drown in it—this is the beginning of wisdom.

You must embody overwhelming gratitude
for the opportunity to fail repeatedly,
with no guarantee of eventual success,
and to wade cheerfully into a doomed struggle
against time and your own limitations.

You clamber toward your own death
across a landscape of thorns, broken glass,
and the corpses of those who have gone before you.

Would you have it any other way?

a stoic ethics - william ferraiolo
Excerpt from Meditations on Self-Discipline and Failure: Stoic Exercise for Mental Fitness by William Ferraiolo, October 2017.