Avoiding Purposeless Emoting

Events in the News, be they Coronavirus or Black Lives Matter or unidentified federal agents running amok in Portland or … well, you get the idea … they overwhelm me. Little is within my control, and thus I choose to refocus my attention and energy to what is. Today’s Daily Stoic entry sums it up for me nicely:

“It can be so easy to get distracted by, even consumed by, horrible news from all over the world. The proper response of the Stoic to these events is not to not care, but mindless, meaningless sympathy does very little either (and comes at the cost of one’s own serenity, in most cases). If there is something you can actually do to help these suffering people, then, yes, the disturbing news (and your reaction to it) has relevance to your reasoned choice.”

Excerpt From: Ryan Holiday. “The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living.” [Emphasis is mine.]

The “mindless, meaningless sympathy” section can be a post all on its own, one that I’ve been drafting in my head for years. Until that post comes to this site, keep in mind the conclusion to Holiday’s entry:

“If emoting is the end of your participation, then you ought to get back to your own individual duty—to yourself, to your family, to your country.”

Those three right there are more than enough to fill one’s day and consume one’s energy and focus.

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About Paul

I’m a Detroit expat recently returned from Tokyo living in Chattanooga. I’m a consulting security professional and father of two. I promise that my views and politics are mine; not yours or my employer’s or anyone’s. I follow no party or affiliation or anything. My things are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license unless otherwise stated.

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