How do we find calm in times of stress and uncertainty? How do we cope with sudden losses or find meaning in a world that can easily rob us of what we most value? Drawing on the wisdom of Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and others, Nancy Sherman’s Stoic Wisdom presents a compelling, modern Stoicism that teaches grit, resilience, and the importance of close relationships in addressing life’s biggest and smallest challenges. A renowned expert in ancient and modern ethics, Sherman relates how Stoic methods of examining beliefs and perceptions can help us correct distortions in what we believe, see, and feel. Her study reveals a profound insight about the Stoics: They never believed, as Stoic popularizers often hold, that rugged self-reliance or indifference to the world around us is at the heart of living well.
We are at home in the world, they insisted, when we are connected to each other in cooperative efforts. We build resilience and goodness through our deepest relationships. Bringing ancient ideas to bear on 21st century concerns – from workers facing stress and burnout to first responders in a pandemic, from soldiers on the battlefield to citizens fighting for racial justice – Sherman shows how Stoicism can help us fulfil the promise of our shared humanity.
In nine lessons that combine ancient pithy quotes and daily exercises with contemporary ethics and psychology, Stoic Wisdom is a field manual for the art of living well.