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Indifference is Power – Stoic Serenity

indifference is power

For stoics, indifference is power over a world we cannot control. We still care, but temper our emotions and focus our activities.

Give me the strength to accept things I cannot change, courage to change things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

So, I was enjoying lunch with an old friend in November. Suddenly Eric asked: So, what’s next in your life? What makes you happy?

His question caught me off guard. I gave the usual responses – family, grandchildren, friends, hobbies, etc. But then I thought some more. I realized what makes me happy is also getting rid of the things that make me unhappy.

And this is the essence of stoicism. Indifference is power we have over things outside of our control. I once read a humorous description of stoicism as “not giving a shit about all the stupid things in this world that most people care so much about. Stoics have emotions, but only for things that really matter.”

You see, the only things we can really control are what we believe about our circumstances. After a wasted year of caring too much about politics and pandemics, it’s good to enter the new year with a fresh outlook.

Indifference is Power – Digging Deeper

According to philosopher Massimo Pigliucci, stoicism is a philosophy for an ordinary life. You can watch his TED Talk here. If that’s too deep, here is a short stoicism cartoon.

So, Happy New Year. And it will be even happier if you embrace “Indifference is Power” as a guiding thought towards both real and fake news in the months ahead.

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