"Don't panic before the entire picture of your life. Don't dwell on all the troubles you've faced or have yet to face, but instead ask yourself as each trouble comes: What is so unbearable or unmanageable in this? Your reply will embarrass you. Then remind yourself that it's not the future or the past that bears down on you, but only the present, always the present, which becomes an even smaller thing when isolated in this way and when the mind that cannot bear up under so slender an object is chastened."
This from the pen of the man whose empire experienced devastating calamities:
"Famine and floods struck Italy; there were earthquakes in Asia and the army in Britannia revolted. More threatening than these, the vast Parthenian empire attacked Syria and replaced the friendly kind of Armenia with a man hostile to Rome ... [the army that returned victorious] returned with the plague ... scholars estimate that the plague killed off as many as a third of those living in the emprie at the time, descimating the army ... destroying the tax base and exhausted the treasury, emptying the countryside, causing mass food shortages ... no sooner were the Parthenians subdued and the traditional triumph celebrated in Rome than than Land-hungry German tribes ... began to invade the empire." - from the introduction to The Emperor's Handbook, translation by C. Scot Hicks and David Hicks.
*Photo taken on a recent excursion through the Chicago Art Institute.