Marcus Aurelius on getting out of bed to create order in the world

The Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius writes on how to begin each day for optimal sanity and the key to living fully. Brainpickings.org hand-picked out some of Aurelius’ quotes. (They do such a great job quoting and summarizing inspiring works of literature.)

Here are some his quotes that stood out to me

At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: “I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?”

So you were born to feel “nice”? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can?

When you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, remember that your defining characteristic— what defines a human being — is to work with others.

I really like this notion about being born to put the world in order. When God created the world, it was all about taking chaos, and making order. We follow that same pattern—making order.

The Bible Project says about the book of Genesis:

The story opens with God confronting chaos and disorder to bring order and beauty in creation. Humans are formed and appointed to participate in God’s divine rule of the universe. As his representatives, humanity can choose to trust God for wisdom to rule, resulting in blessing for the entire world.

However, the humans choose to define good and evil on their own, which begins a destructive cycle that reintroduces chaos and disorder back into God’s good world. 

Let’s wake up, get out of bed, and bring order.

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