6 things the ancient Stoics can teach us about modern life.
By Brad Beckstrom
I don’t recall enjoying anything about philosophy class in college. It might’ve been that the class was early in the morning and the professor spoke in a whispering monotone voice, reading texts from ancient, long dead philosophers. I was too busy looking forward to have much concern for these lessons from the past.
I hadn’t learned much about Stoicism. The Stoics had largely gotten a bad rap and their philosophy nearly vanished thousands of years ago. These ancient Greeks, and later Romans, were depicted as stern characters that expressed little or no emotion in the face of tragedy, or even life’s grand victories. They internalized things and were indifferent to or unaffected by joy, grief, pleasure, or pain. That last sentence is right out of the dictionary. Holy crap, these guys seemed like a bunch of downers.
As it turns out, they are still largely misunderstood and only parts of their philosophy of life have been communicated over the years. The Stoics were actually full of joy and had truly advanced thinking on how to live the best life.