Supporting transgender rights doesn’t always mean being an ally

Maybe we’re returning to “normalcy”—Twitter is alight with arguments about transgender rights. Harry Potter author JK Rowling put transgender issues front and center when she responded to a Devex.com article which states that, “An estimated 1.8 billion girls, women, and gender non-binary persons menstruate, and this has not stopped because of the pandemic.” Rowling didn’t likeContinue reading “Supporting transgender rights doesn’t always mean being an ally”

2020, WTF?

You’ve got head spinnin’, no kiddin’, I can’t pin you down. Okay, I’m plagiarizing John Legend. And totally taking him out of context. But it kinda fits 2020, right? At times like this, the advice to focus on what’s up to us—our deliberate choices—and be indifferent to the rest, seems impossible. Did that cop reallyContinue reading “2020, WTF?”

Stoicism & Epicureanism: What’s the Difference?

Stoicism and Epicureanism were ancient rivals. And both philosophies are back. Which philosophy is right? Do you really have to choose? I think Stoicism and Epicureanism were rivals because of their similarities. They’re variations on a theme. Both philosophies explore how to live a virtuous life. Both see ataraxia (“without disturbance”) as a path toContinue reading “Stoicism & Epicureanism: What’s the Difference?”

It’s hard to be good

We all seem deeply concerned about other people’s moral behavior—while making excuses for our own. Most of us think we’re more moral and self-aware than most other people. But how can the majority be better than the majority? Truth is, most of us are lying to ourselves. Looney Tunes Cartoons with an angel on oneContinue reading “It’s hard to be good”

Stoicism might not be a bummer after all

I heard the Dude is Epicurean. He follows the pleasure principle. Take ‘er easy. And he’s anything but unemotional. I’ve never heard anyone say Mr. Spock is a dude. But wait a minute. The Coen brothers film The Big Lebowski is a tale of the Dude being very unDude. This aggression will not stand, manContinue reading “Stoicism might not be a bummer after all”

Being a prince is a rip-off

I’d rather be the Lone Ranger. Once I was at a wedding when a three-year-old girl looked in awe at the bride. She asked her mommy if she could meet the princess. I’ve heard women say they tried to steer their daughters away from the whole princess thing, but to no avail. And having threeContinue reading “Being a prince is a rip-off”

Outrage is driving us nuts

Ever get the feeling that social media is trying to piss you off? Well, that’s a dumb question. Of course it is. In the mid-’90s we actually debated whether this new internet thing would bring people together or further divide us. Well, a quarter-century later we know the answer. Pop culture’s unending stream of consciousnessContinue reading “Outrage is driving us nuts”

Can you be Stoic and compassionate at the same time?

Stoic compassion sounds like an oxymoron. But what if I told you it’s not? Don’t say, “Calm down.” Provide calmness. Ever had someone yell, “Calm down!” at you? Did being yelled at have a calming effect? Of course not. A person in deep emotional distress needs someone to lean on, but if you become tooContinue reading “Can you be Stoic and compassionate at the same time?”

“Turn the other cheek” doesn’t mean what you think it does

Is Pope Francis a hypocrite who failed to turn the other cheek? The pope recently apologized for slapping a woman’s hand. She had grabbed the elderly pontiff’s arm, nearly throwing him off balance, and refused to let go despite a pained expression on his face. Despite his apology, online commenters chided the pope, reminding himContinue reading ““Turn the other cheek” doesn’t mean what you think it does”

How can I set realistic goals?

Have you ever tried to accomplish something, only to get totally depressed when it all falls to shit? What’s a fella to do? Most of us want to grow as individuals, but we need a plan. And Epictetus has one. Life is like a banquet A onetime slave turned Stoic philosopher, Epictetus said life isContinue reading “How can I set realistic goals?”