A Brief Introduction to Stoicism
‘If you live in harmony with nature you will never be poor.’ – Seneca
Stoicism was an ancient philosophy that reminded people about the unpredictability of life and the importance of rising above one’s emotions and external conditions. It also strived to enlighten people about the importance of accepting whatever happens and living in harmony with nature.
Today, I’ll focus on the stoic teaching of living in harmony with nature because it enables people to reach their full potential and live a fulfilling life.
Living in Harmony with Nature According to Stoicism
‘Let us keep to the way which nature has mapped out for us, and let us not swerve therefrom.’ – Seneca
According to stoicism, nature designed us to flourish because it wants us to attain the full expression of our human potential. It thus planted within us a desire of wanting to become the highest version of ourselves and provided us with everything we need to be our highest self.
For this reason, living in harmony with nature is to strive to reach our highest potential, which can be done by developing our character and perfecting reason. We perfect reason by cultivating wisdom, and we develop character by embracing justice/good-heartedness, courage, and self-discipline.
To the stoics, self-discipline meant controlling our emotions and embracing humility and forgiveness. Courage meant acting fearlessly while justice meant fairness and good-heartedness.
The stoics taught that anyone who strived to reach her full potential by developing her reasoning faculty and a good character will live a fulfilled life as she will be in harmony with nature.
My Personal Opinion on Stoic Thoughts
Studying nature enabled me to realize that every living thing was designed to grow to its full potential. For instance, mangoes are designed to become huge trees while whales are designed to become huge mammals.
For this reason, I firmly support the Stoic idea that we were designed to reach our full potential, and I believe that we live in harmony with nature by aligning with this design.
As well, I agree that we’ll live a fulfilling life if we develop our character because a good character enables us to establish good relationships, connect with the right people, and rise above failure.
Lastly, I support the fact that perfecting reason leads to a fulfilling life since it results in a positive attitude towards life and enables us to make healthy judgments, wise decisions, and perform the right actions.