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Stoicism in a time of crisis: how Marcus Aurelius can help

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https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/apr/25/stoicism-in-a-time-of-pandemic-coronavirus-marcus-aurelius-the-meditations

theguardian.com

Stoicism in a time of crisis: how Marcus Aurelius can help
The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was the last famous Stoic philosopher of antiquity. During the last 14 years of his life he faced one of the worst plagues in European history. The Antonine Plague, named after him, was probably caused by a strain of the smallpox virus.

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The Meditations

The Meditations

The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was the last famous Stoic philosopher of antiquity. He faced one of the worst plagues in European history.

During the Antonine Plague, he wrote a...

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The dichotomy of control

Because Stoics believe that true good resides in a person's character and actions, they would focus on what they can control, not what they can't.

What happens to you is never d...

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The cause of our distress

Our judgment that something is really bad or even catastrophic causes our distress.

It's not the new virus that makes us afraid but rather our opinions about it.

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Fear

A common slogan of stoicism is that fear does us more harm than the things of which we’re afraid.

Even if you have a 99% chance of surviving a global crisis, worry and anxiety may be ru...

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Confront the risk

During hard times, you may have to look at the possibility of your own death. But avoiding to look at this is the most popular strategy nowadays.

The Stoics believed when you'r...

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“Our actions may be impeded…but there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to ou..."

Stoicism explained

  • In any and every situation—no matter how bad or seemingly undesirable it is—we have the opportunity to practice a virtue.
  • Stoics like to refer to the phrase amor fati–loving the things that happen to us. 

Cultivate Stoicism in your life

Stoic philosophy can be cultivated as a practical philosophy:

  • Seeing the good in everything that happens around us, not feeling hijacked or negatively affected by fate and life events.
  • Treating life as an experiment, not being overly attached to things, people and decisions.

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Live Every Day as If It Were Your Last

Death doesn’t make life pointless, death makes life worth living. Sometimes the discussion about the meaning of life serves no purpose besides distracting you from the answer, which is found...

Food as a Test Of Self-Control

Although eating food is pleasurable, digesting it is our main purpose. We should eat to live rather than live to eat.

To practice this principle, one can eat plain foods without sauces or try intermittent fasting.

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

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Stoicism asserts that we don’t control and cannot rely on external events, only ourselves and our responses.

At the very root of Stoicism there is a very simple, though not easy, way of living: Take obstacles in your life and turn them into your advantage, control what you can and accept what yo...

At the very root of Stoicism there is a very simple, though not easy, way of living: Take obstacles in your life and turn them into your advantage, control what you can and accept what you can’t.

“In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to them I do control. Where wil...

“In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to them I do control. Where will I find good and bad? In me, in my choices.”  -  Epictetus:

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