I am surprisingly Zen (translation: deadma) about the Senate hearings on military corruption. I mean, I sympathize with Heidi Mendoza and would want nothing short of finding all of the accused rotting in jail, but I am just—not—angry. (Examples of angry here.) My blood pressure is stable and normal; there’s no vein deliriously pulsating on my forehead; I am calmly typing on my keyboard. Not even Merceditas Gutierrez’s swipe at Leila de Lima got to the monastic calmness that is my nerves.
I thought this particular New Year’s resolution—not sweating the small stuff—would be my most difficult but it’s a state I’ve found myself easily transitioning into. I’ve heard, read and been on the receptive end of (some) bad news the past month and I’ve found myself mulling over the information before tweeting, blogging, fuming or worrying:
- Is the bad news confirmed, final or imagined?
- Can I do something about it?
- Does it affect me personally? Is it unique to me?
- If I act, will it add to the noise or will it add value?
- Nasa cast ka ba ng Black Swan? Kasi kung wala ka rin lang sa isang Oscar-nominated film, deadma na!
… the Stoics sought freedom from all passions (apatheia). It meant eradicating the emotional response to external events—the things we cannot control. For the Stoics, it was the optimum rational response to the world, for we cannot control things that are caused by the will of others or by Nature, we can only control our own will. This did not mean a loss of all feeling, or total disengagement from the world. The Stoic who performs correct judgments and actions as part of the world order experiences contentment and good feelings.