A pupil once asked me why I tried so hard to do things well. After all, one of the bases of Stoic philosophy is that nothing is really under our control, other than our mind — specifically, our willpower, and the decisions we make.
Believing this does not mean, however, abdicating responsibility. What gives us responsibility for our actions is our intention, not the result.
Our job is to roll the dice. How they fall, that’s for the fates to decide.
Toss them well.
- Face fears instead of running away from them. We can escape from a baby dragon, but dragons, when left alone, grow. You can’t escape from adult dragons.
- Accept. Accept that the world turns, and we turn with it. To turn against it is to blow against a storm.
- Say thanks. For what you have; instead of always pinning for more, of being the person who grabs another morsel of food from the platter before he has even finished swallowing.
Action, acceptance, and gratitude.
Act, accept, and be grateful.
We are losing the skeptics, and that is not a good thing.
We are making those who don’t accept hegemony of thought pay a very hefty price. This is wrong. We need them. Because even if they are wrong nine times out of ten, the tenth time is crucial.
We don’t have to follow the crazies, nor accept demagoguery from people with weak ethical and moral fiber. But we must leave the public square open to everyone.
Only by listening and paying attention can we hope to separate the crazy people from the prophets.