When I was at home during the pandemic I began looking for ways to deal with the stress and anxiety I was experiencing around school, my family, and overall health and wellbeing. I was browsing on Amazon and came across the book “The Obstacle is the Way’ by Ryan Holiday (here’s my book summary).
The ideas in the book resonated with me and I’ve been trying to incorporate elements of stoicism into personal and professional life.
What is Stoicism?
Stoicism is a philosophy that originated in ancient Greece and later became popular in ancient Rome. It emphasizes the idea of living in accordance with nature and accepting the things that are beyond our control. Stoics believe in focusing on the present moment and developing inner virtues such as wisdom, courage, and self-control. Stoics practice mindfulness, maintaining a calm and rational mindset, and being indifferent to external circumstances.
Stoicism teaches individuals to cultivate tranquility and inner peace through the practice of virtue while accepting the inevitability of change and adversity. The philosophy encourages individuals to detach themselves from excessive desires and emotions, as these are considered sources of suffering. Stoicism is a way of life that promotes resilience, self-improvement, and the pursuit of eudaimonia (flourishing or living a good life). A stoic focuses on what is within their control and develops a mindset of acceptance and gratitude. Sources: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - Stoicism. Link, The Daily Stoic - What is Stoicism? Link
Teach Like a Stoic
As I look to learn more, I think it will be fun and meaningful to research the wise words of the Stoics and apply them to teaching and education in general. I hope this will deepen my understanding, improve my mental and spiritual health, and be of some value to anyone else who reads it.
Good luck in your pursuit of Eudaimonia!
Here’s the first quote on my list.
“Most of all, teachers shouldn't only be speakers of helpful words, but their actions should be consistent with them. The pupil's duty is to attend pro-actively to what is said, and to be on guard in case they accept something false without thinking.” - Musonius Rufus
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