Kurt Bell

A life of courage, joy and independence.

A stoic stroll

I’ve begun to apply the stoic perspective of reduced expectation. The purpose is to decrease the chances of being disappointed when reality fails to live up to my high standards. The seeming danger is that I might develop and unhealthy, and unrepresentative negative world view. However, I’m beginning to see that this may not be the case, and instead a more accommodating outlook, grounded in reality, may be the result.

Stoic me
The world is less gloomy
Though more honest
When expectations
Account observation
And experience

Another stoic thought

As I meander the streets now
Reading, walking random
Pausing to highlight and note
My attention becomes anxiety
As I notice the curious gaze
Of others
Who must wonder after my
Actions or intent
How queer my behavior
Why not move instead with
A more determined stride
Along routes of convention
Such distract my thoughts
And attention
Though perhaps
If I labor a bit before my walk
To anticipate the eyes
Then maybe
I’ll pass untouched


One comment on “A stoic stroll

  1. Ilona
    December 1, 2013

    Hi Kurt,
    I think I mentioned you were a stoic philosopher, in my humble opinion. Lately in
    the States, many of my students identify with Zeno of the Red Porch (the Stoa).
    Of course, it is more likely that the wonderful works of Marcus Aurelius appeals
    to everyone. I try to introduce his amazing work to as many people that I can.
    It is so relevant to the present. His words are calming and useful, ready for any
    emergency. “Stop philosophizing about what a good man is and be one,” is
    what he said and what you fellow stoic have done in “putting children first.”
    Conjuring another original stoic, I wrote:
    Here you live without a care
    On the street in clothes threadbare.

    Nothing to lose; but to be.
    Your mind discerns all to see.

    No things own you; greed’s in vain.
    Your lamp seeks sole and humane.

    “Sir, ask what you would of me.”
    “Don’t shade the warm sun from me.”
    Alexander and Diogenes
    -Ilona Garrett, 11-30-2013

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