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Welcome Hard Times Like a Stoic

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Stoics welcomed hard times – they saw their life as training for moments such as the one we are in now, where character, resilience and courage are tested. Stoic philosopher Epictetus said: “The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skilful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.”

He saw crisis as a way of unmasking who you really are: “Circumstances don’t make the man, they only reveal him to himself.”

Keeping calm

In times like this it’s easy to spiral into anxiety. The Stoics strived for tranquility and believed that our minds are powerful and create their own heaven or hell. Stoics such as the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius lived through the Antonine Plague of 165 to 180 AD, an ancient pandemic that wiped out a third of the population. Philosopher and playwright Seneca had to deal at close range with despots such as Caligula and Nero (who eventually ordered his death), and both Marcus Aurelius and Seneca had to carry on after the death of their children.



Edited by guy

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