Letting Things Be What They Are (Wisdom, pt. 1)

I have accumulated some bits of wisdom in my life, though I surely have a lot left to learn. These same lessons, it seems, are taught again and again, but we become slightly better students with time and focus. My hope is that I am becoming a better person, in my own slow and plodding way.

The one bit of wisdom I am reflecting on recently can be stated as, "let things be what they are." We often get hung up on what we want a person or a thing to be, rather than appreciating them for what they are. There is power in acceptance.

If you are currently unhappy with some aspect of your life, this is because you have an expectation that it should not be so. Perhaps you feel as though you deserve better. Or maybe you merely feel envy for what someone else has. This is a recipe for unhappiness.

The happy -- or eudaimonic -- life is one of total acceptance of what fate brings our way. If we want riches, there is no amount of money that will ever satisfy us. If we want that storybook family life as scene in our friends' social media profiles, no relationships will ever be enough.

This is no excuse to merely disregard our moral failings – on the contrary, acceptance allows us to "get on" with the business of life, and to try again. Accepting the circumstances of life allows us to focus on the development of our moral character, through gratitude, being charitable with others, and inner strength.

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