Thursday, May 21, 2015

Stoic Message

Zestful Blog Post #107

Ever since taking some courses in philosophy at Michigan State, I've been interested in Stoicism, that ancient Hellenistic school of thought. Zeno, Seneca, and Epictetus were the main guys we still read today. To hyper-simplify, the Stoics said: Let nothing bother you; suck up any discomfort you can't immediately eliminate; if you do so you'll be free.

I was re-reading Seneca not long ago, and was struck by this passage, which I underlined:

"It is disgraceful that a man who is old or in sight of old age should have a wisdom deriving solely from his notebook. 'Zeno said this.' And what have you said? 'Cleanthes said that.' What have you said? How much longer

[Photo by ES]

are you going to serve under others' orders? Assume authority yourself and utter something that may be handed down to posterity. Produce something from your own resources."

I think of this quote when I see somebody's blog that only comprises links and quotes from other bloggers or sources. I'm like, if I follow your blog, I expect YOU to write it. But what about 'guest posts'? What about 'blog tours'? I guess those things must be OK. Are they? It all seems like such a hustle. Am I hopelessly out of it?

Moreover, my point is this: There's so much thought out there, so much, yes, wisdom apart from the dreck, that it's easy to give over the wisdom-making to others. Hell, it's easy to give over the MAKING to others. Let's not. What do YOU think? What do YOU say? What do YOU make?

I love you.


  1. Which is why I don't blog! One less babbler makes the world simpler, like me, LOL!

    Love right back atcha!

  2. I have a dear friend from college. I subscribe to her blog. When she writes about topics involving her interests, I love her blog and her writing, even though I agree with maybe 25% of what she says. Unfortunately, she only does that one day a week. The other three-four days that she blogs are reposts, usually full of dreck & treacle. Blech.

    1. Glad to hear I'm part of a larger dreck-hating community, Allison. Thanks for looking in.

  3. Oh, and Facebook. I have unfriended people who only post 'canned' stuff and stuff, even beautiful stuff that other people have made. Speak for yourself I shout and make your own things.

  4. I sit down to write a blog and realize many of us have the same ideas. There's a need for action and accomplishment. Something we writers find difficult since it involves getting out of our chairs. But if we do, and come back to our chairs, we'll have something really worth reading. WE NEED BLOGS TO BE WORTHY OF THE TIME TO READ THEM.

    1. Amen, Patricia. Here's to action and accomplishment!

  5. It's amazing how often your Writer's Digest articles are used as blog content. With attribution, thank goodness. It makes you more well-known, certainly.


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