Human desire is often said to be like a well that never fills; we always want more. But what if it is possible to choose to be content? To explore this subject, New Acropolis (Main Centre) conducted a talk titled “You can’t always get what you want! The Stoic Art of Contentment” on 16th February 2019.
Using few examples of the central teachings of Stoic philosophy, the lecture suggested that while we cannot always control external events and circumstances, we can indeed choose how we respond to them.
Therefore, rather than getting caught into the illusions created by our subjective thoughts and emotions, our best option is to act by breaking the false barriers that we have created for ourselves. Perhaps the main cause of our dissatisfaction lies in the fact that we are impulsively driven by our senses. Hence we might learn to focus on what we can influence – the ability to choose to respond, thereby cultivating contentment.