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Being a Stoic is Good For Me

Yes, I definitely believe that living the Stoic life, or at least trying to do so, is good for me. I have a Chronic Illness, that may interfere at least a bit, with my cognitive processes. Today is another example to show this, read on to find out more about it:

Today I was to present a piece for a poetry writing workshop. I was organised for it, had my handout written and copies made to give to the workshop attendees. I was happy with what I’d written and felt those attending would gain something to put to there personal poetic practise.

All well and good, I had my copies and my other bits an pieces for the event, and was there in good time. Then, when we were sitting around, and I’d spoken about half of what I was to do, we turned over the page, to see the second part of my piece, to discover exactly the same thing on the back, as was on the front … I’d printed out page one on both sides of the paper, instead of printing page two on the other side of page one …

Did I weep and wail, and burst into tears? No, I merely laughed a little at myself, and spoke about what was supposed to be on the other side of the page. And because I didn’t make a big thing about it, we all just accepted what was, and move along with it as best we could, no problems …

Before I’d begun my Stoic journey, I’m not sure I would have been as calm and collected as I was today. I don’t know that for sure, of course, but I certainly feel as though my life is becoming one of acceptance and understanding, good things done, bad things understood too, and also accepted as mistakes to be dealt with in the best way possible.

There are no disasters that ruin my life, merely experiences that enrich my understanding of life, my own, and the lives of others. And regarding the lives of others, I am realising where my life ends, and the next person’s life begins, and I’m not trying to live the lives of others, because that is not my business, it is theirs.

The flowers grow best when they grow in their best place, with the best care. As I don’t expect fuchsias to flowers in winter, so I realise I will sometimes get things wrong, and the best thing to do is to simply do the best I can, and accept sometimes I might make mistakes, or forget things. Not a terrible thing, just a fact of life, my life.

Accepting my limitations, but challenging them sometimes, and working at extending my limits and so exceeding those limits, that is how I grow in what I am able to do, and do better at things. I am one person, living my life in my best way possible, making mistakes sometimes, but doing an excellent job at other times sometimes too.

Inspiration is there for us all to aim for, and to attain, and so become an inspiration for others. Life is there for us, and whilst there is no rule book, there are opportunities we can all aim at, reach exceed, live, learn, attain, and then aim higher, reach further, become more.

Yes, being a Stoic is definitely very good for me!

Virtues and Stoics

What Is Stoicism All About?

First of all, the most important thing to sort out is to throw out the idea that Stoicism is all about having a stiff upper lip, and being cold, unemotional and uncaring. The Greeks and then Romans who put much into, and in fact in the case of the Greeks, began the Stoic philosophy.

Wisdom, Temperance, Justice, and Courage – these are the four cardinal virtues of a Stoic life. The Stoic wishes to go through their life, working at these four virtues to achieve their best possible life.

And to a Stoic, their best possible life is one that is lived in accordance with these four virtues. There are particular ways of considering these four virtues, with an emphasis on doing the best thing for themselves, and also for their family, friends and their wider community.

Going on a chocolate binge, while being very tasty, would not meet the virtue of temperance, and so would not be considered a good thing, by a Stoic. And if one had a heart problem and perhaps other health problems, then that’s certainly going to mean no chocolate, or perhaps only the smallest amount, as long as there have been no other dietary indiscretions.

Is it fair? This is an important question for a Stoic to remember and avoid. Life is made up of many things, and to rail against thing;s being ‘fair’ simply because they didn’t go your way is not a wise thing. As in Mindfulness, things that happen are, and it is up to all to deal with them in the best way possible.

And by the ‘best way’ one is not referring to gaining lots of money, or getting the biggest slice of cake. The ‘best way’ is the way that leads to improvements in your life, as it accords to your better understanding, and indeed embodiment of the four cardinal virtues.

I hope this brief look at stoicism has been of interest. If I have got anything wrong, please let me know. I am new at this Stoic life, and I wish to adhere to the proper way.