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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Adamsky - MRH Faculty

Stoicism: the First Step to Generational Greatness

by Nick J.

Every Generation life changes for the better and for the worse. Today’s up and coming generation commonly known as Gen Z, have faced and face many challenges not previously apparent in the few generations before them. And it may be time for today’s generation to reclaim the mantle of Stoicism.

The largest challenges apparent would be this generation's crippling mental health widely caused from social isolation of the 2019 pandemic. In addition to the common adverse effects of social media which greatly outweigh the good effects, where on average Gen Z spends four or more hours a day. In addition much of social media teaches spite and malice and normalizes this poor mindset. Furthermore a study back in 2009 states, more than 50% of families are dysfunctional. And has been increasing gradually over time. With more dysfunctional families, mental health takes another blow, along with the generation's character and outlook on the future. As well, many Gen Z are concerned about their financial future. Where over 50% said they are “extremely worried about not having enough money.” In light of the economic turmoil, fears of a recession, the ascension of artificial intelligence and corporate downsizings. And the continuing growth of Political and Social issues only adds more stress. Additionally each generation has been becoming less religious. Religion has always been a powerful force in society, politics, and daily life. With its power diminished and less people believing and having faith. The non religious have a more difficult time enjoying life as much as their religious counterparts.

Many in this generation have become desensitized or have emotionally “hardened”, as a way to combat these issues. However this merely leads to avoidance of emotion, suppressing pain, blocking out memories, denying the trauma ever occurred, and avoidance about thinking about it. Without understanding the underlying problems and the difficulty of solving these problems many become lost and hopeless.

However a change in mindset could make all the difference. While religion has been on a decline, Philosophy is one of the oldest fields of study in the world and is just as relevant today as it was centuries ago due to its foundation in discipline and not faith. One philosophy known as Stoicism can be broken down into four disciplines: Wisdom, Moderation, Courage and Justice.

Wisdom is subdivided into good sense, good calculation, quick-wittedness, discretion, and resourcefulness. The focus on using a larger amount of the mind's potential can lead to more rational and substantial and successful decisions and thinking.

Moderation is subdivided into good discipline, seemliness, modesty, and self-control. Many a time people can lose themselves in disagreements and the intensity of emotion and desires. By disciplining one’s self to be humble, unassuming, and controlling of one’s actions, desires, and emotions. Balance and peace can be found much more easily within.

Courage is subdivided into endurance, confidence, high-mindedness, cheerfulness, and industriousness. By merely believing in one’s self and having a more optimistic mind can lead to better motivation and the will to make things better. Furthermore, maintaining strong morals and being diligent in work and continuing to move forward no matter how bad things get, is one of the most important aspects of not just Stoicism but life. If a person stops moving forward they will be left behind. And being diligent and moral is always a laudable act deserving of proudness.

Justice is subdivided into piety, honesty, equity, and fair dealing. By sticking to good principles, keeping words pure and true, and being open and fair. People can have understanding and good relations between one another.

In the end will adoption of Stoicism fix all the generations' problems? No, because one singular philosophy cannot fix all the problems present. However by practicing Stoicism, every individual of this generation can take full measures to improve themselves, their lives, and the lives of others. Stoicism may just be the first step forward to achieve this generation’s potential greatness.

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