Spreading Stoic Philosophy in the Streets

“Be your own spectator; seek your own applause.” – Seneca

Yesterday, I attended a local event, Be Kind Wilkes-Barre, organized by Tim Maloney (a recent guest on my Stoic Philosophy Podcast who spoke about Islam and community service) with intentions to participate in random acts of kindness through sharing encouraging Stoic messages.

After arriving on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre, I used sidewalk chalk to write messages from Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius following conversation with a newspaper reporter who later wrote about the event in an article titled ‘Group’s simple request: ‘Be Kind Wilkes-Barre.’

She wrote,

Vacula, who is a student of mental health counseling at Marywood, was just hoping to give back through kindness.

“Sometimes people don’t recognize the positive things that are going on in their lives and focus on the negatives, and discount all of the positive experiences … so this, actually going out and being part of the community, maybe that could be a big help … small measures of kindness,” he said.

I find it important to have an attitude which includes gratitude for the meaningful and positive happenings in our life. It may be easy to take certain things for granted, be downtrodden when expectations aren’t met, and even lose composure when some negative events transpire. Reflecting on Stoicism has improved my day-to-day contentment, my quality of life, and helps me better cope with adversity.

We can work to accept some of the parts of our lives we may not like and adjust the best we can. Listen to past podcast episodes I released on the topics of gratitude and acceptance for more information. My newest episode on the topic of contentment should also be of help.

Here are some more Stoic quotes, photos from the event:

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” – Seneca
“Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.” – Epictetus
“Dwell on the beauty of life.” – Marcus Aurelius
“What a precious privilege it is to be alive.” – Marcus Aurelius
“Where fear is, happiness is not.” – Seneca

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Stoic Philosophy: Contentment

I talk about ways to achieve contentment and aspects of life which may disrupt our tranquility in a new episode of my Stoic Philosophy Podcast.

We can work toward contentment by being mindful of unproductive thoughts and actions which may hinder us and seek to make positive changes; have a sense of purpose in life; be more productive and less lazy; question our desires and eliminate or greatly reduce that which takes away from our tranquility; and improve our self-reliance, our self-esteem, and not fully depend on others for our happiness.

The Stoic Philosophy Podcast explores the tradition of Stoicism with goals to inform, empower, and help others benefit from practical wisdom of Ancient Greek, Roman, and modern thinkers including Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca.

For the Stoics, a main focus is pursuing virtue to attain a well-examined life through practical applications of Philosophy – acting with good character, using reason to form accurate careful judgments about the world, and achieving contentment. Stoic writers focus on many perennial human concerns and urge people to take action applying what they learn to everyday life. Self-improvement is central to Stoic thought – strengthening and improving one’s mindset.

Listen to my newest episode in SoundCloud, iTunes, YouTube, and Stitcher.

Click on the post’s title for more information.

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Appearance on Apostasy Now Podcast

I recently appeared on the Apostasy Now Podcast to talk about Stoic Philosophy.

From the episode description:

We were happy to have Justin back on the program recently. He’s been busy disciplining himself in the philosophy of Stoicism and helping others to understand what it means, how to apply it. Take a listen, it may be something you find compelling. And check the links below to learn even more.

Steam and download the podcast through Apostasy Now’s website, listen in iTunes, listen in Stitcher, or stream on YouTube.

Click on this post’s title for more information.

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Stoicism, Islam, and Community Service with Tim Maloney

I talk about Stoicism, Islam, and community activism with American Muslim Tim Maloney.

We also explore tolerance; learning from others; anger; acceptance; handling adversity; overcoming fears; dealing with difficult people; and resilience.

Tim Maloney is an American Muslim activist and community organizer from Northeastern Pennsylvania. He received his B.A. Degree in Communication Arts and Humanities from Keystone College. Tim currently serves on the Steering Committee for the Peace and Justice Center and Executive Committee of the Wilkes-Barre NAACP Youth Council. In 2016, Tim won Best Life Blog at the NEPA BlogCon’s Blog of the Year awards. In 2017, he was the recipient of the Susan Merrill Constance Kozel Award. This is presented by The Interfaith Resource Center for Peace and Justice to an individual whose contributions to society reflect the principles of justice and peace.

The Stoic Philosophy Podcast explores the tradition of Stoicism with goals to inform, empower, and help others benefit from practical wisdom of Ancient Greek, Roman, and modern thinkers including Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca.

For the Stoics, a main focus is pursuing virtue to attain a well-examined life through practical applications of Philosophy – acting with good character, using reason to form accurate careful judgments about the world, and achieving contentment. Stoic writers focus on many perennial human concerns and urge people to take action applying what they learn to everyday life. Self-improvement is central to Stoic thought – strengthening and improving one’s mindset.

Listen to my newest episode in SoundCloud, iTunes, YouTube, and Stitcher.

Click on the post’s title for more information.

Read More

Stoic Philosophy: Death With Dignity

I talk about death with dignity in my newest episode of the Stoic Philosophy Podcast.

For Seneca, several central thoughts on death with dignity appear through his letters: use your time well while you still can and don’t let life pass you by for life is short and chance can drastically alter or end your life; we should be prepared to end our lives when reason dictates it; living nobly is more important than living a long life – quality is more important than quantity; death can offer us freedom from a life not worth living; and we should do our best to die gladly.

It’s important to note that although Stoic writers encourage ending our lives early in some situations, committing suicide, we should not do so haphazardly; Stoic writers would only encourage suicide in special circumstances after reasoned deliberation.

The Stoic Philosophy Podcast explores the tradition of Stoicism with goals to inform, empower, and help others benefit from practical wisdom of Ancient Greek, Roman, and modern thinkers including Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca.

For the Stoics, a main focus is pursuing virtue to attain a well-examined life through practical applications of Philosophy – acting with good character, using reason to form accurate careful judgments about the world, and achieving contentment. Stoic writers focus on many perennial human concerns and urge people to take action applying what they learn to everyday life. Self-improvement is central to Stoic thought – strengthening and improving one’s mindset.

Listen to my newest episode on SoundCloud, YouTube, iTunes, and Stitcher.

Click on the post’s title for more.

Read More