Being Better

Stoicism for a World Worth Living In

Twenty-three centuries ago, in a marketplace in Athens, Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism, built his philosophy on powerful ideas that still resonate today: all human beings can become citizens of the world, regardless of their nationality, gender, or social class; happiness comes from living in harmony with nature; and, most important, humans always have the freedom to choose their attitude, even when they cannot control external circumstances.

This empowering message led a wide array of people, from the slave Epictetus to the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, to embrace the philosophy. In our age of political polarization and environmental destruction, Stoicism has taken on new relevance. In Being Better, Kai Whiting and Leonidas Konstantakos apply Stoic principles to contemporary issues such as social justice, climate breakdown, and the excesses of global capitalism. Above all, they show that Stoicism is not an ivory-tower philosophy or a collection of Silicon Valley life hacks, but a vital way of life that helps us live simply, improve our communities, and find peace in a turbulent world.

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