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My friend asked me a question about Stoic practice: “I know that in Stoicism, you don’t rely on external things for happiness. But if you stop counting on those things to make you happy, then is your default state to just be happy?” This really made me think.
WHAT WOULD A STOIC DO?
We tend to be self-centred. We constantly wonder what I should do if I fall ill, if I get angry, if someone is angry at me, if I don’t have enough money, if my coworkers are jerks, if my boss embarrasses me in front of others, if I fail to get the job I want … But while we are busy thinking about ourselves, life presents us with situations that we are not prepared for. Now what? Modern Stoics respond to our last month’s picture, the burning image of the Notre Dame Cathedral.
Competing to prove ourselves
In Stoicism, you accept whatever happens to you as a given. When outsiders see this, they often assume that Stoics are passive, inactive, and gutless.
Gun violence motivated by hate has devastated far more than one community. Whether it is in New Zealand or Pittsburgh, people across the world are filled with horror and disbelief.
In this insightful article our contributing editor Meredith Kunz points out how little we really need to flourish. Drawing from her own personal experiences, she points out that some of her most memorable experiences occurred when she was living in a two-bedroom cottage with a broken window—a window she couldn’t fix because she couldn’t afford to.
One of the major causes of our unhappiness is the gap between our expectations and reality. Stoics argued that reality is not under our control. So, instead of trying to reset reality, we are better off resetting our expectations. Our contributing editor, Meredith Kunz tells us how.
Social media and AI judge us all the time
In the series Black Mirror, there’s an infamous episode, Nosedive, where the main character is judged minute-to-minute by the people around her.