Food For Thought
Living In A State Of Apatheia
There once was a Roman trader named Stilbo, who often traveled for months at a time.
One day, he returned home to find that a group of Barbarians had sacked his city and killed or kidnapped his entire family. His wife, kids, and friends were gone.
One of his companions turned to Stilbo and asked, “What have you lost?”
“I have lost nothing,” he said. “My goods are all with me.”
On the surface, this response seems incredibly cold. But Stilbo was a Stoic and had fully embraced the idea of “apatheia”. This wasn’t a cold comment, and if dissected, you’ll find it actually shows great love…
Stoicism is “an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium. The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge; the wise live in harmony with the divine Reason that governs nature, and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.”
Stoics strive to live in constant “apatheia”—loosely translated as equanimity, orcontentment. The idea is to not let petty annoyances, emotions, or “passions” distract you from fully engaging in the present moment. (This piggybacks off of what we discussed yesterday about living in the moment.)
The Stoics believed that loss is one of life’s only constants. And the best way to deal with it is to fully engage with what we have while we have it.
It’s the ultimate philosophy of #NoRagrets.
For Stilbo, the goal was to love and appreciate each moment so fully, that when loss eventually arrived, it held no real power.
For a deeper analysis of stoicism and Stilbo’s story, tune in below. 😎👇