Stoic Lemonade: How do you accept a gift?

The way in which you receive a gift can reveal more about your personality than you might ever wish to confess.

Gracious acceptance is an art – an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving…. Accepting another person’s gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you.
― Alexander McCall Smith, Love Over Scotland

 

Stoic Lemonade: The clutter of our lives.

Clutter protects itself with fear.
You fear throwing away something valuable by accident.
But how valuable is anything that you allowed to get hidden under an ever-growing pile of belongings?
To a large degree anything that’s covered by clutter is already lost.

The end of a year brings introspection.
What is your “clutter?”
Is it stacks of goodies piled up around the house?
Or thousands of mp3 files or photographs on hard drives?
Are stale or toxic friendships cluttering and smothering you on a personal level?

Few things are actually as scary as ruthlessly and recklessly throwing out stuff.
But – You obviously know you will sift through things a bit before you dump it all.

Earlier today I cleaned out a very old box with hundreds of unsorted documents.
I retrieved a few odds and ends that got rerouted to a new thinner file.
One day I might look for something “important” I chucked out today.
But then again, it seems I had “no use” for any of those “valuable” files the last few years – Even the ones I “saved” today?

Stoic Lemonade: Did you allow a smile on your face this morning?

This morning I was privileged enough to be able to relax on my porch.
I was up before the sun.
In my mind I already compiled a huge checklist of all the stuff that “Needs to be done today.”
A busy mind tends to focus on that what keeps us busy.

I sipped on my coffee and watched the Sun start reaching towards the far end of my garden.
I smiled.
But it’s actually a bit more than that, I ALLOWED myself to smile.
There’s something liberating about making a conscious decision to smile.
Make a conscious decision where you allow yourself to be content within a moment.
But know this Fearless Trooper, it aint always that easy!
Your mind can be a bit of a bitch, convincing you not to give in to “frivolous” thoughts!
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Stoic Lemonade: The futility of a “Facebook Argument.”

Today I saw another lengthy and very tedious comment-thread on Facebook.
I know I shouldn’t be reading this drivel, but I do get relapses!

One common denominator within comments often shines through:
Very few participants are ever willing to move from a position of “knowing” to a position of “enquiring.”
Everyone is always ready to impart a vast array of knowledge.
Everyone is a guru and a supreme Jedi Master of everything and anything.

But in the end the futility and absurdity of it all amuses me.
The online-argument is never won, it is a crude feedback loop.
Participants caught in this loop manage to spend hours buried in thought – Seeking powerful words that can decimate the enemy!
The weapons often come across as pretentious and contrived attempts at being more clever than everyone else.
But most opponents are strangers who really don’t care about anyone in the virtual fray.
And they definitely couldn’t care less about anything anyone writes.

Stoic Lemonade: Are Tattoos Portals for Evil Spirits?

Earlier this morning I sat next to a girl with impressive tattoos.
I recalled a debate I had with someone who told me that tattoos were portals for evil spirits!”
I wondered whether she was going to go all “Supernatural” on me and manifest a demon from her rose tattoo?
Thank heavens I escaped safely!

As far as I know biblical comments about “tattoos” are limited to one verse?
Research I conducted showed me “the markings” they refer to in that passage is pulled out of context ever so often.
In my opinion, that ignorant “Manifestation of Misinterpretation” can beat the “tattoo-demon” hand’s down anyway.
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Making Stoic Lemonade: Suck it sour or kill it with sugar.

Earlier this year my interest in Stoicism was seriously rekindled.
But to be quite honest, I can’t ever see myself becoming a true Stoic.
Is it just me or do some of “them” take themselves a tad too seriously?
I’m going to confess to being a bit of a “supermarket philosopher.”
I walk down the proverbial isles and pick whatever I like from whatever the ideology or philosophy is.
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We should send a whale-shaped rocket to Saturn, but can we? – Words that fail us.

“We should improve company morale!”
“I must complete these project deliverables!”

“Should and must.”
Whenever I hear these insipid words I immediately lose interest.
That’s when my mind starts to wander and I envisage the whale-shaped rocket en route to Saturn.
“It sure sounds like a fun thing any Space Administration should accomplish?

“Should and must” are two of the most devious words in our vocabulary.
Why?
They gently move us into a comfort zone where we feel we did something.
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What are you? Do you tell them at the cocktail party, or let them guess?

“So what do you do?”
In my younger days I used to dread that question at social events.
It often felt like my occupation defined me for those who asked.
Did you ever get that feeling?

Recently I attended a party where “Joe” was present.
Joe said he was a teacher, and that encapsulated “all that he was” to the very “fancy” group of engineers.
Their stereotypical rendition of what a teacher “does” quickly placed Joe in a box that they could understand.
So what “is” a teacher?
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