The beauty of being a Stoic

 

Zeno, founder of Stoicism

Zeno, founder of Stoicism

 

By Anthony O. Alcantara

I was once accused of being a Stoic many years ago by a friend. I didn’t know the meaning of the word at that time, but I had a vague feeling that it meant someone who is “manhid” or insensitive.

As I began to learn about Zeno, his “stoa,” and his “kill-joy” disciples years later, I learned three important things about Stoic philosophy:

1) Life is all about opportunities. Suffering from injustice is an opportunity to exercise mercy and compassion. Winning in a lottery is an opportunity to exercise charity or to be wise in using money. There are no inherently good or inherently bad events in life. Everything is an opportunity.

2) Life is not short. Many of us complain about not having enough time… so many things to do, so little time. But if we look back on our lives and be honest with ourselves, we realize we simply wasted precious time on a lot of unimportant things. We have all the time in the world to do great things or things that really matter if we only invest our time wisely.

3) Life is meaningful. However, many do not exercise their consciousness to give their lives the meaning they want. It’s a subjective thing. Only we can give meaning to our lives.

Come to think of it, being a Stoic isn’t that bad after all.

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