WtP S24E2 | Do not fuss
Hello and welcome to Walk the Pod, your daily walking show where I take my podcast for a walk because I don’t have a dog. You take 10 minutes out of the day, to walk in nature and pay attention to what’s directly in front of you. My name is Rachel Wheeley, a podcaster and human in the world trying to figure out how to be. I’m on the cycle path in SW19, Wimbledon, as a cyclist zooms past on the bike track to my left.
Kids are whooping and hollering in the Wimbledon Chase Primary School to my right. And the trees are resplendent above me with their little buds. No leaves, but those little buds promises what’s to come. absolutely delighted to be here walking with you again this lunchtime as a very tall person comes towards me with a tiny baby attached to their chest by means of a sling and somebody behind them pushing a pram.
I’ve got Stoics on the Cycle Path for you today, Poddies. Not Seneca today, but Marcus Aurelius, another wise person who knew how to survive 2022 2000 years ago and will be paying attention to what’s directly in front of us of course, as we always do.
Welcome to Walk the Pod.
Paying attention to what’s directly in front of me
My lovely friend Ariana sent me a message just now saying it’s mild out and it is mild out. So actually, it’s really quite pleasant out here today and can’t see the sun. It’s kind of grey and mis. Or at least it looks grey from inside but it’s actually actually warm. And I can see a tiny speck of blue sky. A little pinhole in the clouds shows me that the blue sky is still up there. And there’s some kids kicking a football around on the field. The Thameslink train is going over the railway bridge in the distance very much business as usual on the cycle path this afternoon.
There are 1000 million scooters parked up just inside the chain link fence in the primary school and walking past a prescription on the floor sure we’ll see what it’s for. I don’t know whether Can you read other people’s prescriptions? I think if they’ve dropped them on the floor you can cite slight dizziness other thing I don’t know.
Stoics on the Cycle Path
We were talking yesterday about friendship. Seneca was advising his friend to be very slow, to make a friend to spend a good while passing judgement on somebody before accepting them as a friend. But then to embrace them wholeheartedly.
And today’s Stoics on the Cycle Path is from Marcus Aurelius. Now another very, very wise person who I’ve often gone to for advice. Marcus Aurelius wrote a book called Meditations, which essentially was him just jotting down things to himself. sayings that he’d heard from other places. Wise mottos he had picked up from around the place and at the beginning of Meditations, he lists all his mentors and people who’ve given him wise advice over the years.
And he just kept writing these things down until you had books and books and books of them. This one is from book six. And it is the 27th entry in book six. He says,
“How cruel it is not to allow people to strive for what seems to them, their interest and advantage. And yet in a way, you are forbidding them to do this. When you fast that they are wrong. They are surely drawn to their own interest in advantage. But it is not actually so well then teach them show them do not fuss.”
And this is a big theme of Marcus’s Meditations, the idea that he should just be a good person. Don’t wang on to other people about how good you are. Or try to try to sort of humble brag your way through life, explaining to people how wise you are just just demonstrate it by being a good person.
And here, I think he’s saying, let other people pursue whatever seems right to them, even if it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to you. And that is pretty good advice, I think because we can expend an enormous amount of energy wondering why other people do and say all the things other people do and say. It’s, ultimately, wasted energy that we’re never gonna get back. best just to think well, different people like different things. Get on with our own lives.
If you have a favourite piece of Stoic philosophy, do share it with me because I’m very happy to share other people’s favourite bits of Stoic philosophy. And let’s see whether we can glean any wisdom together out of it.
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But see if you can see if you can navigate that. Nigel of Galicia very kindly had a go at that for me yesterday, it doesn’t entirely work. I’m gonna keep working on it, but he’s gonna keep working on it
Daily walking is good for you
it’s nice having a walk. I don’t know whether you’re in the habit of having a daily walk away from your desk at lunchtime. But I highly recommend it. If you’re listening to this podcast while you’re indoors, that is allowed. I’m not going to ban you from listening. But I would much prefer you to use the podcast as an excuse to get out the door at lunchtime have a walk.
Only listen to the podcast while you’re walking and just see what happens. I think you might be surprised by the mental health and physical health benefits of daily walking around your local area particularly if you have some nature around you. And particularly if you have a dog.
I don’t have a dog but I might just take my podcast for walks as if it’s a dog. That’s a normal thing to do. I can see loads of pups in the distance over there. My favourite type of dog little brown dogs are not good at identifying dogs, little brown dogs saying hello to each other.
New kittens on the block
Also, very excitingly, have some kittens, new kittens on my block where I live. So I was watching them this morning. One of them which is white with grey splodges likes to sit under the hedge and watch people walking around. And so it goes and sits in its usual spot every morning and has a good has a good look at everybody whilst keeping nice and safe under the hedge so that was entertaining.
And then of course we also have many squirrels that live where I live so I always have fun watching them as well. I managed to get a picture of one this morning, but it will my lens clips going if you know lens, it’s like Instagram stories, but it’s for Patreon. So, the pod walking club got pictures of the squirrel.
Every squirrel is called Peanut by the way, I don’t know whether you know that. But I’m got the pictures of peanuts this morning. So it’s quite proud to have captured it. One of them is have a picture of a squirrel the other one is a half a squirrel as it leapt out of the out of the shot as I was trying to take a second picture of it just walking under the railway bridge now as you can probably hear sound changes ever so slightly.
It’s kind of windy today. So if you’re getting a lot of wind noise I apologise why I’m trying to trying to baffle it with my very high tech solution of the cuff of a gardening glove which I’ve cut off the bottom of the said garden glove and have looped over the bottom of my phone in order to create a bit of a baffle from wind noise. This is what this is what 10 years of BBC sound engineering teaches you how to baffle with noise from your podcast. That was not time wasted, was it?
Anyway, listen, I think it’s time I went now I’ve got to go and do a few errands. But um, because I’m not working this week, I’m resting this week. Getting better from the surgery I had a couple of weeks ago. And so I’ve got a few errands to do not actually working afternoon. But thank you for walking with me as ever.
And I am going to be back tomorrow with another daily episode of Walk the Pod. So remember, if you want to take me up on my challenge, to listen to the next episode, on a lunchtime walk, and then you can always report back to me how it went. And one of the ways that I mentioned earlier you can also tweet me @rachelwheeley if you like that sort of thing. So take care of your beautiful mind this afternoon. And I look forward to speaking to you again tomorrow.