Friday, June 29, 2012

A Lesson In Stoicism: Handling Insults

Listen to: Far East Movement "Ain't Coming Down"

I believe in Stoicism and consider myself a practicing Stoic, so I frequently refer to the teachings of Seneca and Epictetus for guidance in my life. I read several Stoicism books last year that helped breakdown the philosophy in a way I could apply it to my life. Last week I came across a lot of insults; some came from individuals I had just met and others came from people I knew. My instinct is to instantly shut-down because they are exhausting and no fun. Naturally, I referred to my Stoicism notes on how to better handle these situations. To summarize, basically they should have no affect on me and the ultimate goal is indifference. As I've alluded to before, I've overcome significant obstacles in my life and to have my mood of the moment soured by a misguided individual (whether passive aggressive or just aggressive) is silly. As a Stoic, the thing I ask myself everyday is if I was governed by reason today. Succumbing to an insult, whether it be by a counter-insult, my mood, or behaviour, does not leave much room for reason. Hopefully one day I can just shrug off insults as a good Stoic would.

Nota Bene: I've been putting music in my posts because I love music and these are from my playlists. I give links because I think the songs themselves relate to my posts so the idea is to listen to the song while reading. Today's song doesn't exactly relate but I made the connection between the lyrics and "Clouds" (Aristophanes.)

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