combating the covid-19 pan(dem)ic with stoicism

The COVID-19 pandemic is a wise occasion to practice the tenets of Stoic philosophy. We can all employ Stoicism to empower us to step up and be a shining example in these difficult times. Amor Fati, cultivate a love for your fate. Premeditatio Malorum, prepare for the worst. Memento Mori, let this experience bring death into your perspective. 

Enjoy the present moment and make the most of your time and energy, and try to focus on constructive pursuits as much as you can.

This a wonderful time to focus exclusively on what we can control and let go of what we can’t. No matter what circumstances we encounter, we always have absolute control of our thoughts, words and actions. We can stay calm and cultivate stillness within us and not let fear and panic drive us to irrational behavior. We can see things as they are, and not let our judgments affect the way we perceive them. Now is a wonderful opportunity to embrace and embody the four Stoic virtues — Wisdom, Courage, Justice and Temperance. We can all choose to become well-informed and act wisely. To act with fearlessness instead of getting influenced by fear-inducing stories broadcasted by news channels and various media 24/7. To do the right thing in spite of our personal and professional losses. And to practice self-control whenever and wherever required.

We must understand that Coronavirus is not the first or the worst global pandemic that we humans have faced. Nor is it going to be the last one. It’s futile to constantly worry about this crisis and how bad things will get in the immediate future. What matters the most is how we are all going to show up and handle this worldwide emergency. In every challenging situation, we have a choice: to let fear and panic overpower us or to show up as responsible global citizens and work together for the good of the whole. We can all practice the Stoic notion of sympatheia. We are not alone, we are part of something bigger than ourselves. The truth is that when others suffer, we suffer. When the world goes through pain due to a catastrophe, we go through that pain as well. To paraphrase Marcus Aurelius, what’s bad for the hive is bad for the bee as well. We are not citizens of one particular country, we’re all citizens of the world. What harms the world community, also harms the individual. The sooner we accept this notion of cosmopolitanism, the bigger impact and contribution we’ll be able to make. We are all part of the same mighty living being. We all share the resources of the same planet. Instead of cultivating a narrow-minded perception of life, we need to take a broader perspective. We all have a duty to work for the greater good. It’s important that we show up as best versions of ourselves in this crisis. That we let go of our selfish concerns and look after each other, after all, we’re all in this together.

Remember the virtues of Stoicism. And as Marcus Aurelius wrote to himself, think good, do good and be good. Stay away from fear and panic, and just keep these words always in your perspective: This too shall pass.

PS: To help you learn the essential tools and strategies of Stoicism in these uncertain and difficult times, I am starting an offer on my eBook Stoic Life which is the third book in the Meditations for the Learning Mind Series. Through this book, you can be in tune with the Stoic philosophy on a daily basis as you face the challenges of everyday life with practical wisdom and inner fortitude. The wisdom of great philosophers such as Epictetus, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius as well as modern authors such as Ryan Holiday and Donald Robertson has been distilled in a form that is easy to digest and consume (even if you’re not a reader!).  The condensed timeless knowledge in these meditations will guide you in navigating through the complexities that come with modern living, and help you in your quest to living a virtuous and meaningful life, especially in this global health crisis.

Stoic Life is available for $2.99 across all stores online in the US until April 10. There’s a reduced price for online stores in other countries as well. It can’t get better than this if you’re new to Stoicism and want to learn the essential teachings of this philosophy. I hope you take advantage of this offer and use Stoicism as an invaluable tool in your arsenal to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s a Universal Book Link for Stoic Life; you can use it to get the eBook from your favorite store for a reduced price. Again, this offer is only valid until April 10.