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    You Just Keep Going

    Daily Stoic Emails

    It has been a series of body blows, hasn’t it? The economy. Politics. Our health. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe you’ve lost your hope. All of us are concerned. Each of us is unsure of what lies in the future, and what kind of shape we’ll be in when it comes. 

    The Stoics, who endured some 15 years of plague in Marcus’s reign, cannot offer us much guidance there. They can’t tell us how to solve this. They can’t tell us when this will end. 

    So what do we do? We keep going. The Stoics were at least pretty sure about that. You keep going, step by step, action by action. You don’t need hope, you don’t need fear either, Seneca said. You just keep going, taking it day by day

    In Cormac McCarthy’s haunting novel, The Road, the man believed that “everything depended on reaching the coast, yet waking in the night he knew that all of this was empty and no substance to it.” The coast was just an idea, a distant point on the horizon, that served as something to measure progress against. No more, no less. So the man kept going. He pushed his cart, he protected his son, he carried the fire. He tried to do what was right, tried not to be broken down by all that was happening around him, tried not to be corrupted by it.

    All we can do is keep going. We keep buggering on, as Churchill did. We fight on. We stick to it. We endure. We survive. Maybe things will get better soon, maybe they won’t. But we’ll definitely keep moving. We’ll carry the fire. We’ll do what’s right. We won’t be broken down. 

    We’ll make it where we need to go.

    P.S. This was originally sent on February 11, 2021. Sign up today for the Daily Stoic’s email and get our popular free 7-day course on Stoicism.