Stoicism

Please write a response to the following;

In Senecas Moral Letter 20, he states “What is wisdom? Always desiring the same things, and always refusing the same things.”. He then describes how you will find who your true friends are if you enter into a state of poverty. He relates this to his earlier claim that one should pick a specific way to live and to always live by that. For example, one should not forgo luxurious food but live in a luxurious house. I believe that Seneca is saying things that stick with you in any circumstance are the true parts of your character. For example, if you flaunt money when you are rich but do not do the same when you are poor, then this is not something that is integral to you. However, if you are cheerful in either situation then that is a true aspect of your nature. I believe that Seneca is saying you should focus on maintaining things that you aspire to be so that they can truly be part of your nature.

There are many reasons why someone might procrastinate when it comes to obtaining a philosophy of life. First of all, its natural to see your life as almost infinite when you are young. You are not likely to feel much pressure to have a philosophy of life because you may feel that you have plenty of time to do it. It can also be due to having so much on your plate that you feel you do not have enough time to dedicate to the practice. It can also be difficult to pin down which one will work best for you. However, the risks for not having a philosophy of life are great. You may go through life allowing others to make choices for you and this may lead to you not living your best life. You also run the risk of having more regrets throughout your life and particularly at the end of your life. Having a life philosophy means that you will be better prepared to handle any situation and are more likely to make decisions that align with your authentic self and with your reason rather than your initial reactions.

It is difficult to compare anything in my life to the stoic thinking of a man who was a prisoner of war and spent more than four years in solitary confinement. One thing it did remind me of is how my mom described me as hard to punish when I was a kid because her method of punishment was to take away my things, often anything that would entertain me except for a book. Sometimes even my books. But it didnt bother me because I would just find another way to entertain myself, like looking for patterns in the wall if I had nothing else. So I would compare this to indifference to externals, nothing really mattered except what I had in my mind.

The most difficult desire for me to overcome is to have luxuries. For example, the apartment I lived in before my current one was a very luxurious apartment. It was on a high floor in a downtown highrise and the curtains were designed in a way that I could always enjoy the city views even when they were closed. I had a large soaking tub, a large kitchen, and a lot of space. My partner and I decided to downsize in order to save money because we want to buy a house soon. We always had planned on only living there for one year, our one year of being spoiled. But I still often think about that place and yearn to be back there. And when we buy a house, one of my requirements is to have a large soaking tub. I believe this is a difficult desire for me to overcome because I was raised very poor like sometimes had nothing to eat but peanut butter sandwiches and would have likely had days where I didnt eat if food banks didnt exist. So having experienced luxury later in life, I now sometimes find myself feeling like Im slipping back into desperate poverty if I dont maintain luxuries that I once had. I think a desire thats difficult for many people to overcome is to be noticed, by their peers, by strangers, on social media. This is a natural desire that all people have and is likely a part of being prosocial and a survival instinct. But it can easily go beyond just needing to talk to your friends every once in a while. Social media has made it very easier for this need to be amplified. I think how natural and innate it is to human nature is the reason why its difficult to give up.

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