Be A Stoic During Times Of Hardship

It is in a time of hardship where virtuous men are distinguished and true leaders born. The COVID-19 pandemic – or the perception of it, as portrayed by the mainstream media – has caught the world off-guard. While the plebs panic and fall into a mass hysteria, a stoic would see the crisis as an opportunity – even if he/she had preferred to be without it, it is an opportunity nevertheless.

Being able to remain in a calm state of mind is essential in any situation, but even more so in a major crisis or catastrophe. By remaining calm, you can help people in need, but panicking will make matters only worse. Support the medics and front line personnel, if you can; Offer them accomodation, if you own any suitable properties. Offer to drive them around. But no, I do not mean virtue signaling, such as applauding or flashing lights on the windows, or whatever else the mainstream media might tell the plebs to do.

This is also an unique way to improve oneself. A lot of people may have lost their jobs, income, or risk losing their business. But so what? Shit happens, and nothing will change unless one takes charge of the situation. Sure, the plebs are happy for goverment handouts (courtesy of the taxpayer) and spend their time in quarantine playing video games and Hollywood movies, but then again, there is a reason they remain plebs. A smart man/woman would spend the excess time not on self-pitying and self-gratification, but getting out of the routine and investing into him/herself. Whether it is reading meaningful books, starting a business or expanding on an existing one, or simply working out and becoming more disciplined that way. After all, if one does not take responsibility for ones life, then no one will. The common excuse of “being busy” or “not having time” is invalid, especially in this moment of time. Invest in yourself, and you will be better off than before the crisis.

Panicking and stressing out will not help anybody. Had Zeno panicked and stressed out after being shipwrecked, we would not be here today. Had Marcus Aurelius panicked during any of the hardships the Roman Empire encountered during his rule, the Western civilization might not even exist today. Instead, he remained calm even as his empire was struck by the Antonine Plague. Compared to what Marcus Aurelius and the Ancient Romans had to go through back then, we have no right to complain at all.

Whether we like it or not, at the end of the day, life is a competition. The one who remains calm and takes responsibility for his/her actions, will grow and come ahead of those who do not. Be the one who will come out as a victor from this temporary hardship. Embrace stoicism and let the obstacle become the way for you to reach new heights.