Report on my final day of Stoic Week 2014: the view from above

It’s the seventh and final day of Stoic Week 2014! I am very glad I participated in the daily readings and reflections. I’ve made so many positive changes in my life already. Now it’s time to stick to them.


I’ve been spending all of the Thanksgiving long holiday weekend catching up on sleep. I have a meditation habit now and today it was warm out and I went for a run and ended up doing five miles in Frick Park. This is the longest distance I’ve run in months!

Nature, providence, the larger whole

It is fitting that today’s theme is the Stoic view of humanity as being embedded in something bigger, call it “nature” or “providence”. Part of why I enjoy running in the trails of Frick Park is that in its own small way, the experience puts me in touch directly with something bigger than us; I encounter dogs, chipmunks, trees, creeks, leaves, mud, and even deer (not today, but Abby and I saw one during our hike there yesterday).

I honestly feel more whole and alive when I see more of nature, and not in some self-conscious sentimental way. It’s more subtle than that. And there’s nothing sentimental about those steep hills that make me gasp for air when I climb them. But I sure appreciate the cleaner air in the park than on the main urban roads of Pittsburgh! And I remember where air comes from and how fragile its quality and composition is. The big picture matters.


I am grateful for the organizers of Stoic Week for putting it on again this year. Here is something I’ve decided to do, to keep its spirit alive indefinitely: I will continue to explore various interpretations of Stoicism (note that I don’t feel compelled to buy into any particular school or even call myself a Stoic at all), as well as other philosophy (for example, the Zen I had begun looking into years ago) on a daily basis, to keep my mind always focused on applying principles of practical living.

Did you hear about Stoic Week this year? If you did, why did you choose to participate in it, or more interestingly, choose not to?

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