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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.
As ‘the year like no other’ comes to a close, we may want to reflect on our lives so we may steer them better in the new year. In this issue of THE STOIC, our contributors provide excellent perspectives on living a better life, no matter what we have been through this year.
“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.
John Bradford, the Sixteenth Century English Reformer, was a humble man. He was the Chaplain to King Edward VI. Yet, it is said that, whenever he saw a criminal led to his execution, Bradford would exclaim,
There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford!
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
In the 5,000 year old epic Gilgamesh, the King of Uruk, Gilgamesh sets out to find the secret of immortality. He undertakes an ardous journey and faces many dangers in his quest. In the end, he comes to the understanding that humans cannot be immortals. All we can do is to live our lives well here on this earth.
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.”
In this issue of THE STOIC, our contributors offer simple ways of practicing Stoicism.
Stoicism is a philosophy of life. Its path may be hard but it sets no traps. The Stoic traps we discuss in this issue are the traps we set for ourselves when we practice Stoicism. And such traps are many.
In A Scandal in Bohemia, a conversation between Sherelock Holmes and Watson goes like this:
“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,”