Skip to main content

Random Stoic Quote

Human life. Duration: momentary. Nature: changeable. Perception: dim. Condition of Body: decaying. Soul: spinning around. Fortune: unpredictable. Lasting Fame: uncertain. Sum Up: The body and its parts are a river, the soul a dream and mist, life is warfare and a journey far from home, lasting reputation is oblivion. Then what can guide us? Only philosophy. Which means making sure that the power within stays safe and free from assault, superior to pleasure and pain, doing nothing randomly or dishonestly and with imposture, not dependent on anyone else’s doing something or not doing it. And making sure that it accepts what happens and what it is dealt as coming from the same place it came from. And above all, that it accepts death in a cheerful spirit, as nothing but the dissolution of the elements from which each living thing is composed. If it doesn’t hurt the individual elements to change continually into one another, why are people afraid of all of them changing and separating? It’s a natural thing. And nothing natural is evil.
Marcus Aurelius — Meditations (Book 2)

Why Stoicism?

Nothing's made a mark on me as of late quite the way Stoicism has. The main reason I was interested in Stoicism was the idea that the Stoics knew how to quell feelings of rage. I have battled my bad temper my whole life, and the idea of learning to control it was appealing. The most notable result of reading Stoic philosophy and journaling twice a day has been a reduction in not instances of anger but a shortening in how long those feelings of anger last. Where I use to stew in the juices of anger for hours, I've been able to quickly stop myself, and ask "Why are you angry? Did that person you feel offended you intend to offend you? Or are they possibly having a bad day and slighted you by mistake? Or is it even possible that you just perceived it as a slight?"

Perception of Wrongdoings

There's an idea in Stoicism that you are not in control of anything but your own thoughts. Because you're in control of your own mind though, any offense you perceive is just that, your perception. If you do not feel like a victim, then you are not a victim.

We are confronted with episodes in our lives that make us feel like others have wronged us. Most of the time, we worry that we may have done something wrong first, that we need to fix the situation. In reality, we can change the thoughts, speech, and action of others as much as we can affect tomorrow's weather forecast. The only power we have here is in our perception of the perceived wrong. If we tell ourselves, "you don't control anything but you feel", we are more likely to avoid anger, resentment, and bitterness.