The world is going crazy, as it always has.
Focus on what you can control, right?
I’ve been wondering about the relationship between Stoicism and what has been going on in the world lately, it’s obviously huge.
The world events feel overwhelming. So much going on, so many changes of narrative. Also, the world is more complicated than before. Before, you only had access to so much information, but now? My god, you have the world’s entire information in your pocket.
This is good and bad. It is good because now you have an idea of what is going on in the world, and your role in it, and bad because it is easy to feel helpless.
I’ve noticed, on the news, how different agendas are being constantly pushed. You can see it here on Medium too. There are a couple of stances you can take in any given topic. I recently read how Facebook is permitting “hate speech” against the Russian army in Ukraine. It is perplexing. It makes you wonder, should hate speech be allowed in any form? While at the same time, disallowing dissent from the vaccine-hesitant, for example? Who is right and why? The handling of information by the media feels off.
What does a Stoic do about this? It feels as if we are falling with nothing to grab. We try to find a sense of stability in the media’s discourse, but we will not find it there. What today’s right, tomorrow’s wrong.
Where should we go then?
I say values.
Stoicism offers you 4 main ones: Temperance, courage, justice, and wisdom.
You see, it’s easy to disagree with people about stuff, but that shouldn’t be a reason for you to hate them, do not give your tranquility, your peace of mind away so easily. Understand that if you close yourself to other people and to dialogue you will contribute to the social breakdown that we are experiencing right now.
First of all, you need to think about the important stuff, stuff that will not change with time, such as values. If you hold on to those first, it will be easier to deal with the massive confusion offered today by the world.
Don’t know how to act? Grab a book, open a Stoic Answers blog post, remember what’s important.
The Environment That Surrounds You
Stop looking so often at your phone. It’s addictive and unhealthy for you. It will feed you exclusively with the points of view that you want to hear, leaving you even more sure about those same points of view, which can always be wrong.
How are you contributing to the people that more closely surround you?
That is a good question.
Are you actually listening to what people say? Think about this. How sure are you that people are being honest with you when you talk to them?
How comfortable do people feel talking with you about anything? What do they find when they talk with you? An open person? Or someone that will get mad if people don’t think exactly like him?
Trust me, I’ve been that guy. So arrogant, so full of my knowledge and intelligence. But what is more important? Your self-righteousness? Or our healthy social constructions?
I don’t want to live in a world where people can’t say what they want. Because they might not say it, but surely they think it and believe it.
Communication is paramount.
Stoicism offers you values that stand as high as mountains, hold on to those. Once that is done, you can be a force of reason and openness in the world.