Tuesday, January 3, 2023

The Daily Stoic : What I have learned

It has not been a year since I started looking at the philosophy of the Stoics of Greece and the current review of it. I actually put it that way because the common definition of stoicism means enduring a painful period. That is not what I mean, I will copy from the dictionary:

For me the Stoicism of the philosophers is summed up rather easily, although much harder to put into practice.

Whenever something happens, good or bad, you cannot change how you got here. Your anger doesn't make it not happen, our complaints and fist-shaking at the Gods does not change the present. But from this moment, you have a choice. I will now try to choose only positive paths going forward.

For me, this has freed me from getting mad at things. 

For example: If Ed gets angry at something, I try not to assume it is me. I try not to get mad back. Arguing does not help - it perpetuates the anger and spreads it to us both. Claiming I am right or that I remembered it right (and I always remember it right) does not alter or change what happened. I can simply acknowledge what he thinks, why it bothered him, and try to move forward.

Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't, but I can try to do better anytime - and I am getting better. Maybe this is super important to me because with any anger from anyone, I assume it is me. I fret, try to reenact what I did, and generally become a bit more hesitant. The Stoic viewpoint helps me and helps Ed, and others who deal with me.

So, you get here at this point, you have to decide how to react. Emotional reaction is the easiest. Withdrawal is easy. Deciding to move on the right way is tough for me. But practicing it, makes it easier every time.

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