In this episode of the Manlihood ManCast, Josh Hatcher shares some quotes from stoic philosophers. Stoicism is an interesting philosophy that was popular in the Early Greek and Roman Empire. That philosophy has had resonance all throughout history. No manmade philosophy is perfect – so if you poke at it long enough, of course you’ll find something you disagree with. There’s a bit of a resurgence in Stoic philosophy these days, almost in a counter to the more emotionally driven and amoral culture that has been stirred up these days.
Stoic philosophy teaches the development of self control and fortitude to combat and overcome destructive emotions.
You can see why that would resonate with some today, and be quite controversial with others.
Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor, born in 121 AD. He is known for his treatise on stoic philosophy entitled “Meditations.”
“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be One.” – Marcus Aurelius
“It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.” – Marcus Aurelius
“If it is not right, do not do it, if it is not true, do not say it.” – Marcus Aurelius
“Choose not to be harmed — and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed — and you haven’t been.” – Marcus Aurelius
“It’s time you realized that you have something in you more powerful and miraculous than the things that affect you and make you dance like a puppet.” – Marcus Aurelius
Lucius Annaeus Seneca was born in 6BC in Spain. He was popular in the Roman empire, and was a statesman and leader of the people.
“If a man knows not which port he sails, no wind is favorable.” – Seneca
“Nothing, to my way of thinking, is a better proof of a well ordered mind than a man’s ability to stop just where he is and pass some time in his own company.” – Seneca
“Life is very short and anxious for those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear the future.” – Seneca
“How does it help…to make troubles heavier by bemoaning them?” – Seneca
Epicetus was a Greek Philosopher born in 55 AD. His work was very popular with Christian thinkers of the day. He was born a slave, later freed. He grew up mostly lame.
“How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself?” – Epictetus
“Curb your desire—don’t set your heart on so many things and you will get what you need.” – Epictetus
There are more modern stoic philosophers as well.
Viktor Frankl was a 20th century psychiatrist and neurologist and holocaust survivor.
“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.” – Viktor Frankl
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
– Viktor Frankl
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
– Viktor Frankl
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