University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
A guide to the good life: the ancient art of Stoic joy
The believe that the stoics held that, life was already determined and that we were basically actors on a stage following a script, is a thing that each and every individual should be living with. What I think is that when one stresses about what to come or what has already happened, he/she becomes not only anxious but also stressed. The only reason that I agree with this assertion is that when we take that things were meant to happen the way they are; will make one to go with the flow philosophy, and hence one will be calm always about the future and the things to come. One thing that I do not undermine on this is that the test of faith is anxiety. This is so as when one worries about an outcome of a situation, it will tend to make you anxious rather than allowing the nature or the will of God be done. I agree with the stoics that the ones who let the divine plan be done, looses the anxiety as one will not worry about any good or bad of a situational outcome. What is of important to understand is that the bad and good things happen; they do not happen to one individual or selected being. I have personally met people who are unafraid of any bad or good that may come of this world, they have no worry because they have accepted that there are bad and good things and it is part of this everyday life.
By saying that there is a script that is guiding us or there is a divine plan for each person, it does not mean one should sit back and let life just pass by. There are very many people who are caught up in this mix up. For instance, if the path of my life was to become a pilot, I should take the initiative of being that pilot and if I am lead to another direction or path by the circumstances, then that is the path that I was supposed to be on. Just try to be somewhere and do not force things to happen because you will be frustrated.
What I think about this believe by the stoics is that we should not let either the good or bad things affect us and we should always stay calm and collected for every event or outcome that may take place in our lives. By my stand on this topic, I do not want to think that the Stoics lived or believed the extreme part of this. That is I do not believe that they just let the world take its course without working hard to see where the world fixes them. Although you may not alter the script, it is not good to sit back and let the world pass by.
Graver, Margaret (2009). Stoicism and Emotion. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
William Braxton Irvine, (2009), A guide to the good life: the ancient art of Stoic joy, page 200. Oxford University Press