January 31

“Remember that you are an actor in a play, the kind of which is chosen for you. Your duty is to play the part you have been given as well as you can. But selecting the part is not up to you.”   – Epictetus

This is not about predestiny. This is not about what the gods have chosen. This about recognizing that there are parts of life – huge, life defining, categorizing parts of life – that we have absolutely no control over. We are born into the families we are born into. In the countries our families live in. In the socioeconomic demographic that the family we are born into occupies. We have no say in any of this. And more.

These are things we cannot control. We also cannot control how society views our family, our region, our demographic, or even our beliefs. This is the role that we have been cast in. Not necessarily against our will but we were not consulted on the role either. We are simply handed it by occasion of our birth.

It is what we choose to do with that role that makes our lives worthwhile or not. Depending on the role we have been given it would be easy to throw up our hands and say, ‘This is the role I have been given I have to be this way.” But that would not be making the best of the role. The best actor doesn’t simply recite lines and follow directions. The best actor makes the role their own and breathes life into it. They bring out aspects no one would have thought of and make the role into something people did not expect. The same can be true for us.

We can be the best actors for the roles we’ve been given.

virtus fortis vocat