Basic Tenets of Stoicism:
In recent months, as the ever-changing shift of economic leadership, global crisis and political positioning both here in the U.S. and abroad, I notice a shift in conversation. More articles have appeared recently, around ancient philosophy. In leadership, whether business or politics, religion, or in the immediate family; philosophy, has always been at the core,whether we are aware or not. My favorite go to research site is the Stanford University, Plato site: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/stoicism often looking for further knowledge, on Paine, Kant, Epicurus, Descartes, Horace, Rousseau, and JS Mill.
Over this past weekend, my daughters’ were watching the film GLADIATOR, and as Russell Crowe embodied the very essence of stoicism, by exalting passages from Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, I began to think about how through the course of modern times, Stoics has gotten a bad name. While historically the film is not accurate, the message of leadership and virtue still shine. The next several hours, lead to a query of recent articles and a key word search in social media, regarding business, leadership and stoicism. Low and behold, a plethora of links; including site which claims to have a “Stoic Week” in the month of November and The Emperor's Handbook: A New Translation of The Meditations, being touted as a " must read" by anyone in a new leadeship role.
Has the current state of global interdependence now reached the point where the basic pillars of logic and virtue have come full circle? Or have we just been pre occupied with material life and technology that we forget to check the very fabric of the quilt we are weaving.
I have encountered several mentors over the years, but in my recent set of business endeavors, have come to realize that one of my mentor’s actually embodies the Stoic philosophy, and I never realized until now, that is why he is extremely successful. I used to view his actions as indifference or some form of cultural politeness, when actually, it was wisdom, temperance, justice, and courage.
For me, the one virtue, I will be practicing more closely, in the future is temperance. As we live in this global community, and an ever state of chaos, temperance seems to me the one pillar which needs to be embraced more often and by many.
Keep an eye oout over the next few months for references to Stocism, in world leaders and CEO’s of industry. You might just find, that a shift is underway.