Probably no skill is more important to an attorney than the ability to precisely and succinctly define terms. As my first post, I will begin to define Stoicism by explaining what it is not.
When many people think of Stoicism, they really think of stoicism. Stoicism is the ancient philosophy of life that has, for millennia, guided leaders such as Cato the Younger, Marcus Aurelius, Admiral James Stockdale, and General Jim Mattis. On the other hand, Merriam Webster defines “stoic” as “not affected by or showing passion or feeling.”
As we will explore on these pages over time, the Stoics had a rich set of ideas, but those ideas did not include the complete suppression of all emotion. If you are just beginning to explore the bounty of Stoicism, do not fall into the trap of imprecisely defining this rich philosophy. Drop your preconceived notions of the unfeeling automaton, unable to show any passion or feeling. The Stoics experience emotions, especially the pleasant ones. But they train themselves to control that which is in their power to control and to be indifferent to that which is not in their power to control.
Let’s explore Stoicism together and enjoy ourselves in the process.