Practicing Stoicism isn’t only about contemplating and working toward our own sense of happiness. Nothing in Stoicism is merely done for our own sake. The founder of Stoicism, Zeno of Citium, crafted a philosophy to help humans live out the best possible version of themselves. Stoic philosophy is the art of living a life worthy of being lived, no matter how much money, business success or social status you enjoy. It’s a philosophy that encourages us to manage our emotions rather than allowing them to control us, so that we are better equipped and enabled to solve personal and global challenges such as plastic pollution and unjust income inequality.
Being Better: Stoicism for a World Worth Living in was written to acquaint readers with traditional Stoic philosophy. Woven throughout the chapters, are the stories of great men and women who worked to improve the lives around them, often at great personal cost to themselves. In the book, you will encounter the teachings of Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius, the life lessons of the Spartans, become acquainted with the struggles and successes of British spies, racing drivers, business entrepreneurs, and religious leaders who, while not necessarily Stoics themselves, help to bring the Stoics’ ancient wisdom to light.
Synopsis of ‘Being Better: Stoicism for a World Worth Living in’:
Twenty-three centuries ago, in a marketplace in Athens, Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism, built his philosophy on powerful ideas that still resonate today: all human beings can become citizens of the world, regardless of their nationality, gender, or social class; happiness comes from living in harmony with nature; and, most important, humans always have the freedom to choose their attitude, even when they cannot control external circumstances. In our age of political polarization and environmental destruction, Stoicism’s empowering message has taken on new relevance. In Being Better, Kai Whiting and Leonidas Konstantakos apply Stoic principles to contemporary issues such as social justice, climate breakdown, and the excesses of global capitalism. They show that Stoicism is not an ivory-tower philosophy or a collection of Silicon Valley life hacks but a vital way of life that helps us live simply, improve our communities, and find peace in a turbulent world.
In short, Being Better shows us how Stoicism can be used to work out the answers to most, if not all, of our complex problems because of the way it encourages us to redefine and improve the quality of our lives. We do this by making our thoughts and actions work not just for the good of the self but for the good of our family, friends, community, all of humanity and the wider world.
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Please consider buying a copy or borrowing one from your local library so that more people can learn the power of Stoicism.