Roman Calendar

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

On Indifferents (from Vice-Admiral James Bond Stockdale)

     Some thoughts on the Stoic philosophy regarding Indifferents from Vice-Admiral James Bond Stockdale:

     "I know the difficulties of gulping this down right away. You keep thinking of practical problems. Everybody has to play the game of life. You can't just walk around saying 'I don't give a damn about health or wealth or whether I'm sent to prison or not.' Epictetus took time to explain better what he meant. He says everybody should play the game of life - that the best play it with 'skill, form, speed, and grace.' But, like most games, you play it with a ball. Your team devotes all its energies to getting the ball across the line. But after the game, what do you do with the ball? Nobody much cares. It's not worth anything. The competition, the game, was the thing. The ball was 'used' to make the game possible, but in itself is not of any value that would justify falling on your sword for it. Once the game is over, the ball is properly a matter of indifference."

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