Stoicism originated in ancient Greece and remained popular through Roman times… but how does that apply today? While Stoicism is far too vast a philosophy to sum up in a blog post, there are a few central tenets which unify the discussions had on the stoic view of happiness:
- Happiness is not a transient feeling, but a state that results from living a good life.
- A good life is one lived in accord with nature.
- By nature, humans are rational and sociable.
- Being sociable in a rational way essentially means being a good person.
- Having a good life means being a good person.
- To be a good person, we must determine what it means to be a good person, and work to align our actions with that moral code by cultivating virtues.
- Focusing on things outside of our control will not contribute to our happiness, so we should try to be indifferent to those things. (The Stoics call them Indifferents).
- While worldly pleasures are not bad things, they don’t make us better people, so we should only enjoy them to the extent that they don’t interfere with cultivating virtue.
SRU’s Stoic week was a very brief foray into the philosophy of stoicism, but provided an opportunity for like-minded individuals to reflect on their own personal path and methods of personal growth and happiness. It also provided students not just a refuge from the stress of midterms, but also coping
mechanisms for dealing with the stress of our complex world by providing an idea of our own roles within it, and how to fulfill those roles gladly.