You didn’t cause the pandemic. You might have even been one of the people who was vocal about the dangers early on. Perhaps you didn’t vote for the leaders—worldwide—who have so failed us in preventing it or protecting us.
Yet here you are, stuck dealing with the fallout.
You’re healthy. You’re unlikely to have health complications from the virus. Your grandparents aren’t around anymore. Yet here you are stuck at home, under legal restrictions, prevented from working or living your life as you like.
Maybe, unlike some businesses, you’ve kept large cash reserves. Maybe, unlike some investors, you didn’t overleverage yourself and you don’t have large debt payments to service. Which means that on top of this pandemic—which again is not your fault—you’re not in a position to be bailed out by hastily constructed government stimulus plans.
It’s unfair. It’s frustrating, but it’s reality.
The Stoics would say, so what? Who ever promised you fair? Who ever promised you that you’d be made whole?
The reward for being right, for being prudent in your affairs, Marcus Aurelius said, is not external. Don’t look for the third thing, he said. Don’t look to be acknowledged. Don’t look to be looked after first. That’s not how this works.
You do what’s right because it’s right. Of whom much is given, much is expected. Remember that. That is what is fair. Even when it isn’t.
P.S. This was originally sent on December 14, 2020. Sign up today for the Daily Stoic’s email and get our popular free 7-day course on Stoicism.