Like today, my tendency as an eighth grader was towards timidity, peacefulness, and reflection. I feared conflict, I was generally non-aggressive. When my friend, John, encouraged me to play high school football, at first I was confused. I didn’t consider myself particularly burly, fast or mean…you know, the football type, but he persisted. As a football coach’s son, he already had a knack of finding football talents in those who didn’t think they had it. He would later become a high school football coach himself (he was born to do it). Anyway, I wasn’t alone on his recruiting list. Once he recruited me, I helped him make sure that the talented prospects in our town came out and played some football. During the years I played, our high school had some of its most successful seasons, due at least in part, to his recruiting and mentoring efforts.
“The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing, in so far as it stands ready against the accidental and the unforeseen, and is not apt to fall.” Marcus Aurelius
Greco-Roman Wrestling (Public Domain photo)
Wrestle, wrestle, wrestle. Life is definitely more like a wrestling match. The people who think that it is dancing, that it is something of a frolic, have a misunderstanding. Not that certain kinds of dancing don’t require some struggle (professional ballroom dancing comes to mind), but I am certain that is not the kind of dancing Marcus is talking about. No, indeed life is more like a wrestling match. And that is not bad! Continue reading →
In your preparation for taking on life, there are three facets of your training that are key. You’ve heard them before, as they are nothing new. They are Body, Mind, and Spirit. A Stoic Hero, of course has his own spin on these three aspects. I know these seem kind of cliche. I tried to be more original but there really is no other way to break it down. To be ready, to be virtuous (which means to be happy), I have to work on all three. They are not independent of each other…no way! Your physical health is affected by your mind and spirit, your mind is connected to your body is connected to your emotional well being, and on and on. Interestingly, each of these aspects fit quite nicely with the buoys on my philosophical raft. Continue reading →