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Never say about anything, “I’ve lost it,” but rather, “I’ve given it back.” … What does it matter to you through what person the one who gave it to you demanded it back? So long as he entrusts it to you, take care of it as something that isn’t your own, as travelers treat an inn. Epictetus, Enchiridion, 11
Now that you have found this message in a bottle, I invite you to open your mind to a new way of looking at the world: through the perspective of Stoic philosophy. Stoic approaches can help you get through many challenges in life while cultivating your character.
Thursday, August 13th, 2020
Kids get frustrated. Stoic approaches can help.
Stressed and struggling - Many adults today are stressed and struggling as they cope with the global pandemic and its consequences. Kids, too, have a lot of reasons to be upset. Frustration comes naturally to kids, especially when they are stuck in their homes subject to new rules and restrictions.
Living in challenging times
We are living in challenging times. As Covid-19 continues to ravage wide sections of the globe, many of us are experiencing social isolation, and much worse.
Turning ourselves into better humans
The study of how to turn ourselves into better humans sometimes suffers from a lack of “hard evidence.” I am a science writer, and I always look for quantitative as well as qualitative data when evaluating any practice or behavior.
Happiness, wealth, and power
We can all think of people in public life who have accomplished big things and earned wide recognition, wealth, and power, even reaching the highest political offices or C-suite jobs.
“There is no actual tomorrow.” My daughter said this to me as we talked about the way people experience time. It’s true: We’re always living in the right now, today. And we always seem to imagine that tomorrow will be just the same as today.
How can Stoic philosophy help us understand what it means to be free? It’s a question that has preoccupied Stoics both ancient and modern.
Friday, February 26th, 2021
Concentration in a World of At-Home Distraction
Do with “genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly”
Striving for externals
We live in an age of measurement. Data is constantly being gathered about us and used to measure and predict how we behave. When we go online we are being tracked and assessed, feeding into marketing profiles. Even in the physical world, cameras are recording us, and our iPhones and smart watches absorb a huge amount of information about our activity, down to our stride length.
Friday, May 28th, 2021
Enjoying the festival of life vs. trying to get more
“I stop and remind myself daily that I have a singular shot at this life – both as a lover of knowledge, and as a human who dances, sings, and enjoys celebrating at the festival.”
“Seeing can help us understand the urgent need to try to do something. I realize I can only do what’s within my power, but I hope I’ll find ways to learn and act,”
“A study led by researchers at Harvard confirmed what modern Stoics already knew: It’s not the situation itself that causes our emotional turmoil, it’s how we think about it..”
Friday, October 29th, 2021
The Stoic struggle: The moral self caring for others
“What are tragic stories except descriptions of people who went after external things that were not under their control, failed, and as a result, suffered?” - Epictetus, Discourses, 1.4