Life has many hills and valleys. One day you can be celebrating the addition of a new family member and another day you may be sicker than a dog. Each event in our lives gives us an opportunity to decide on how we feel about it. When you’re celebrating, you typically bring along some type of happiness. When you’re sick, you typically bring along some type of sadness.
Your life is not going to be fair. Life will play its dirty tricks upon you and the only person who has to deal with it is you. You however get to decide on how you feel about the gyrations life throws your way. You can choose to let your body and mind determine how you should feel, or you can have the courage to build an immunity to them by practicing Stoicism.
“Sick and yet happy, in peril and yet happy, dying and yet happy, in exile and happy, in disgrace and happy.” -Epictetus
Life is random. There is no probability or known calculation to determine how you can optimally live your life. There’s no way to know what punch life will throw next in our direction. We can however lower our probability of disaster by instilling the 4 virtues of Stoicism: Courage, Temperance, Justice, and Wisdom.
Everyone has battles they face everyday. You may even say that some more than others too. The more battles you face, the stronger and courageous you become. As you grow stronger, you start to realize your capabilities as a person. The world is trying to throw a label on your courage when it gives you hardship. Are you the type of person to give up when the going gets tough? Are you the type of person to embrace the difficulty and make it a positive?
How you act is a response enough to remind you that it’s the most important virtue to practice.
Courage however can be a double-edged sword. You can have too much of it and become reckless, and you can have too little of it and be cowardly. There is a right amount of courage however and it can be found in moderation which is what the virtue of temperance is about.
We tend to find temperance in our actions of everyday life. It’s a bit easier to just call these habits as they are the things we do repeatedly and help define our identities as people. The more we work to refine our very systems, behaviors, and adjust them accordingly helps us find the goldlocks ratio of “just right.
Having courage in moderation can open your eyes to see the world for what it really is. You start to gain acceptance for what the world you live in is, and what it isn’t. When you come across a deal of great power, you consider using that great power with great responsibility. You fight for the justice of yourself, and the injustices of others. In doing so, you help bring the world to a closer reality.
Knowledge is knowing something. Wisdom is knowing how to apply knowledge. In the modern day, there is an ambulance of information knocking at the door. The ability to discern that information into something tangible is your process of wisdom. You can’t do this if you think you know everything nor live without a beginner’s mind.
Every day is an opportunity to learn something new. To acquire more wisdom. Stay a student for life and have the courage to act wisely.