Being Better: A New Book on Stoicism that offers Self-Help with a Twist. A Voice of Reason Amid Global Chaos
Kai Whiting and Leonidas Konstantakos’ ‘Being Better: Stoicism for a World Worth Living in’ is a gentle yet powerful introduction to contemporary Stoic life; empowering readers to live calm lives rich with meaning. The authors apply age-old Stoic principles to the most pressing issues, in the only book of its kind on the market. One critic wrote, “Being Better is an innovative way of teaching ancient Stoic principles to a new generation. I believe now, more than ever, these principles can help transform a culture of compliance-based students into one of problem-solving citizens.”
In 2021, it seems near impossible to experience calm and order. From the ongoing pandemic to unstable geopolitics and an ensuing climate crisis, it’s no wonder that discord and tensions run high.
The ancient philosophy of Stoicism is a 2000-year-old “self-help manual”. The Stoics believed that all of us can become valuable global citizens and that what is good for humanity and the planet is also good for us, personally.
In Kai Whiting and Leonidas Konstantakos’ new book, they provide a compelling introduction to Stoicism, and show how it brings benefits to you, your family and your wider community. Through the stories of the Roman Emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius, the Spartan Kings and Queens, along with modern day examples that include British spies, racing drivers and successful entrepreneurs, they demonstrate Stoicism to be the perfect antidote to the problems and challenges of modern-day life.
Synopsis of ‘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. In our age of political polarization and environmental destruction, Stoicism’s empowering message 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. 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.
“The concept of Stoicism is extremely popular these days in Silicon Valley, as well as in the general business space,” explains Whiting. “But rather than redefine Stoicism, we wrote this book to acquaint readers with its most traditional and pure form. It’s a philosophy that can help us understand the order of the world because it encourages people to level off their emotions and deploy logical reasoning. In other words, it gives us the head space to help us better understand ourselves and our roles in the world.”
Continuing, “With even our most pressing modern-day problems, the answers often lay in the past. Leonidas and I would argue that Stoicism harnesses the answers to most, if not all of them. Pick up a copy of Being Better and prepare to redefine your life beyond anything you previously imagined.”
Reviews have been glowing. Stoic author Matthew Van Natta says “Being Better is the best expression of the heart of Stoic philosophy that I have found in print”. Bestselling American author Chris Guillebeau says “The timeless lessons of Stoicism are more relevant than ever. In a time of disorder, Being Better is just what we need to bring them to light.”
David Fideler, editor of ‘Stoic Insights’ writes, “Stoic philosophy is undergoing a modern revival because it teaches us how to live calm and tranquil lives in an often crazy world beyond our control. While covering the basics of Stoicism, Being Better is a beautifully written book that also focuses on another crucial dimension of Stoic philosophy: how we as individuals can contribute to the world as a whole. Today, this includes improving society, as it did for Stoics in the past. But it also includes maintaining the health of our living planet, on which all life depends.”
Leading scholar Prof Christopher Gill from the University of Exeter adds, “An engaging and lively introduction to Stoicism as guidance for living. Being Better makes excellent use of ancient and modern figures to exemplify important features of Stoic practice. The book is also effective in highlighting the Stoic basis for social and political action and environmental responsibility, as well as for emotional resilience.”
‘Being Better: Stoicism for a World Worth Living in’ is available now:
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3iDroSi
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/BarnesandNobleBeingBetter
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Coming soon on iBooks.
About the Authors:
Based at Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium, Kai Whiting is a British researcher and lecturer in environmental sustainability and Stoic philosophy.
Leonidas Konstantakos teaches in the international relations department at Florida International University. He toured with the US Army in Iraq.