From Vol. 2, Issue 12, December 2020
Reflecting On Life
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.
The articles in this issue touch on a wide range of issues we need to face as we move towards a good life. Their message is clear and straightforward:
- Let’s not make things complicated. Let’s stay grounded in basic truths and simple remedies.
- Serenity is at hand, and the price is small. Let’s remember this and ‘buy’ serenity whenever we can.
- Let’s not be carried away by thoughts of the future or fear of change. All we now - or will ever - have is the eternal now. Let’s live in it.
- Reflect on your life and keep records of how you react to things and the thoughts we want to live by.
- Above all, let’s think of others. We are not here all by ourselves. Let’s empathize with others.
- There is always a way. Let obstacles not stop you.
Reminding ourselves to return repeatedly to the principle that no matter how unstable or chaotic conditions are outside ourselves, knowing that our minds are always our own is good medicine. (Sharon Lebell)
The price of tranquility is small. Pay it. We let small things arouse our anger, and our consequential actions arouse anger in others. Pay the small price of letting go of trifles and buy tranquility. (Jonas Salzgeber)
Realize that being in the now is our only reality and cherish it. We are shocked when things change. But not only does reality change over time—so do we. Now is what we must cherish, while also keeping in the back of our minds that it will always change. (Meredith Kunz)
Understand the benefits of daily reflection. One sure way to ensure that we reflect on our actions and thoughts to live by is to keep a journal. Journaling has two benefits: One, to separate events from our judgments about them and to write down our reactions to situations can be a useful way to try to do that). Two, to embed ideas that we want to live by, by creating new habits through the process of continual reminders.
Look beyond your own self-centred thoughts. Within Stoicism, there is a call to sympathize with others’ predicaments and exhibit empathy. We recognize the validity of others’ experiences, which are different from ours. This is the intersection at which perspective and empathy unite, the latter serving as the human element in the former. (Elizabeth Azide)
The ideas contained in this issue of THE STOIC are clear, crisp, and simple. Let’s reflect on them. Let’s take care of our mind, our thoughts, our serenity, our concern for others.
The good life will follow.
Dr. Chuck Chakrapani Editor-in-Chief