“If we judge as good and evil only the things in the power of our own choice, then there is no room left for blaming gods or being hostile to others.”MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 6.41
Explaining the quote above from today’s entry in The Daily Stoic, author Ryan Holiday points out that “our powers begin and end with our own reasoned choice.” And what do we have a choice about? We choose how we react.
We choose how we respond to events that are set in front of us each day. Our perspectives, our judgments on these external events — and whether we embrace or reject the fact that they are outside of our control. It is this judgment which makes us truly powerful.
When we realize that we only have control over things within our own choice, it is then that we recognize: that’s where our responsibility and accountability lies as well. The buck stops with you when it comes to things within your control. Nobody else. No “blaming gods”, or anything external.
It’s no use pointing the finger at dumb luck, either. Our choices are entirely our own. We own our reactions, because we do actually have control over them. And therefore we have an obligation to accept responsibility for them, as well.