“The first thing to do – don’t get worked up. Everything happens according to the nature of all things, and in a short time you’ll be nobody and nowhere. The next thing to do – consider carefully the task at hand for what it is, while remembering that your purpose is to be a good human being. Get straight to doing what nature requires of you, and speak as you see most just and fitting – with kindness, modesty and sincerity.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.


Even if you find yourself experiencing animosity and conflict from another person, you can keep your cool and respond in an appropriate manner by remembering these two steps to all and any decision. The second step draws upon your values and according to them the position they deserve: if you have been offended by someone’s unkind words and arrogance, why react in the exact same way? Put kindness, modesty and sincerity on a higher platform and aspire to practising them. That might be easier to do after taking a slow, deep breath in and out, which also gives your brain (and the other person’s brain too) time to calm down and think straight! I try to count to three in my mind before responding with even the smallest of utterances. This gives me the time to think twice.

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