It’s not quite fair to say that the Stoics were absolutists. In fact, they were absolutists only to themselves. With everyone else, they were relativists. Marcus measured his staff and the strangers he encountered by whether they were trying their best. For them, he looked for excuses and silver linings. With himself? Totally different story. He drew clear lines—flat ass rules as General James Mattis has put it—and was hard on himself when he fell short.
“Tolerant with others,” he wrote, “strict with yourself.”
Is that a double standard? You bet. But there is no other way to live. Or rather no other way worth living.
—from Daily Stoic’s Thursday email, “It’s a Double Standard, but So What?“