Posts tagged 'stoicism'
There’s this famous story about Christopher Wren, the legendary architect who rebuilt St. Paul’s Cathedral after the great fire of London in 1666: One day, while inspecting the ongoing construction, Wren came across three bricklayers who must have triggered his curiosity. He struck up a conversation, asking each of them in turn who they were and what they were doing. The first one answered: “I’m a bricklayer. I’m working here to feed my family.
Of a Happy Life by Seneca. At various points in his writing, Seneca uses fictional debates as a way to illustrate and then counteract objections to his views. In one particularly intriguing dialogue in “De Vita Beata” ("Of a Happy Life"), he and his virtual alter ego argue back and forth wether pleasure or virtue form the basis of a fulfilled, happy existence. Of course, the issue at stake here could hardly be of any greater significance: How does one live a good life?
Frankly, I didn’t have the best of weeks this week. I found myself questioning my self-worth based on perceptions of having fallen short of certain achievements. It’s pointless to judge yourself solely by outcomes of course, particularly those that aren’t entirely under your own control–as the Stoics would put it. But to understand that basic principle is one thing, while applying it in everyday life is quite something different.