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Stoic Week – I bought a packet of Pringles

November 26, 2013 Leave a comment

I like to think that I’m an austere person. I’m unemployed and live with my parents. I don’t have much money, I don’t have to spend much money so I don’t spend much money. I like to think this would make today’s topic of Self-Discipline and Stoic Simplicity a cake-walk. Unfortunately, being mindful of the force all of my actions means that I would have to say that the task is actually extremely difficult for me to succeed at.

To begin the day, I woke up late, as usual. I stay up late to try to make sure that I’ve done something with my day so I get up late and find that I’ve wasted half the day already. Which made the early morning afternoon reflection particularly poignant. But I didn’t get to it until after I returned from my appointment at the Job Centre. Unfortunately this trip resulted in my visiting the 99p store to buy some Pringles and sweets.

When I return home, I read about how the whole of today was supposed to be about Stoic Simplicity and letting go of external desire for health and wealth. I immediately thought of my lack of funds and how I was very good at not spending much money because I don’t have it. I concluded that I was doing well on this front.

Thinking further into it. I realised that my laziness and decision to buy tasty treats constituted  a fairly important failing of the stoic part of the simplicity. You see the difference between my austerity and the Stoic Simplicity I was meant to be striving for is that my austerity is controlled by the external pressures of economics and not by a self-discipline overcoming the desires I have.

I would suppose that the up side of this failing is that I realised it. It means that I am at least mindful of the reasoning behind my actions and how they are, or are not Stoic in nature. This is not me being stoic. This is me learning to be stoic.

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