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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saturday Sermonette--Stoic?

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1, KJV

A person who is stoic is one who shows no emotion, particularly when something bad is happening. The term is derived from a school of philolophy originated by Zeno of Citium in about 300 BC. Zeno thought a wise man (or woman, I suppose) would show no emotion, period. No joy, no sadness, no pain, no emotion whatever.

The term has been watered down over the years to refer especially to those who patiently endure hardships, pain, and sorrow with minimal outward appearance of those things. My mom was a lot that way. She had a higher pain tolerance than anyone I've ever known--physical or mental pain, either one. Dad was a lot the same.

Maybe it was typical of their generation and the ones before. It was considered in bad taste to complain or to blame others for what was accidental or couldn't be helped. Way unlike today, huh?

While I'm not sure overboard stoic stoicism is good, I'm not sure I like what's happening today either. Now we're quick to cast blame, for instance, on the city because we stepped off a curb and fell. We suffer pain or inconvenience and immediately want to blame it on someone other than ourselves. Sue the city! The curbs were too high, too low, or too irregular. What--the city should have known I would have an awkward moment?

I think we need to get a grip. There has to be a middle ground we can go to. Perhaps the first step would be accepting the responsibility for things other people or agencies can't help or weren't truly the cause of to begin with. Sometimes it really is our own fault. Accept it, pick up, and go on.

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