Learning From Bad Examples

Sometimes readers of the DailyStoic.com (practicing Stoics!) get upset when a politically incorrect or controversial example is used in these emails. Why did you tell that story about Winston Churchill? He was an imperialist! Lincoln was a racist! Rockefeller polluted the environment! Jesus wasn’t real! Peter Thiel’s not a Stoic! What does Hillary Clinton have … Continued

What Building a Country Requires

It’s July 4th, 1776. Think about where America was in that moment: Blood in the streets. A revolution against an empire. Families ripped apart because a war forced them to choose sides. Hopeful successes on the battlefield repeatedly followed by dispiriting defeats. The uncertainty of victory, shrouded in the certainty of death and misery and … Continued

Discourses of Epictetus: Book Summary, Key Lessons and Best Quotes

Discourses by Epictetus is a work that only survived thanks to a student named Arrian, who’s credited with transcribing the lessons he learned in Epictetus’ classroom at the beginning of the second century AD. Arrian wrote in a letter prior to the Discourses’ publishing, “whatever I used to hear him say I wrote down, word … Continued

What’s Essential Is Invisible To The Eye

In a framed print on his wall, Fred Rogers prominently displayed his favorite quote “L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.” What’s essential is invisible to the eye. It’s a line from the wonderful children’s book The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Why did he like this quote so much? What did it mean to him? Well, as a … Continued

Good Men Can’t Just Do Nothing

Around 1998, Miep Gies supplied a small note to be appended to the end of a forthcoming biography of Anne Frank. It was completely fitting that Gies have the last word on Anne Frank, given all that she had risked and sacrificed between 1942 and 1944 to provide for and supply Frank’s family as they hid … Continued

It’s All On Slippery Footing

Watching the news, we see stories of bankruptcy, this or that industry disrupted by new technologies, stories of people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Most of the time, what is our reaction? Our mind searches for ways to make it that person’s fault. They spent too much. They were too complacent. Serves them right … Continued

Practice What Needs Practice

Today, you have a simple prompt from Marcus Aurelius: Try to improve at something you’re not naturally good at. “Practice even what seems impossible. The left hand is useless at almost everything, for lack of practice. But it guides the reins better than the right. From practice.” Think about all the things you’re good at. … Continued