Some days, when I see the sky getting dark I would say: “Mr. Rain, don’t start now, I don’t want to carry an umbrella around…”
Of course the rain won’t just not happen because I asked nicely. The truth of the matter is, the rain doesn’t care. Much like anything that happens in my life, the circumstances that come and go won’t give a damn about how I feel about them.
So why should they deserve how I feel?
“You shouldn’t give circumstances the power to rouse anger, for they don’t care at all.”
— MARCUS AURELIUS
Complaining is one thing that Stoics shouldn’t do. Why complain? Complaining is what people do when they are not willing to put in the effort to change the circumstance, or don’t have the courage to accept that it cannot be changed.
Stoics don’t complain, because they would rather fix it or not let the inevitable circumstances affect them from being happy.
Personally, I complained a lot last year. About my career, my fitness, my relationships. Everything! I feel cheated out of happiness & success. I would blame in-work politics, co-workers for ganging up on me, my boss, my parents, everyone & everything were the reason I didn’t get anywhere in life.
But it’s not as if the the institutional changes was worried they would make me mad. Why should it care? It can’t feel anything, so why should I direct my emotion towards it?
Marcus explains, as he quotes another storyteller, that these things do not have the ability to reciprocate my anger. Which means all my complaining are meaningless.
As a Stoic, I don’t waste my emotions on things that don’t care about it.