Over the past decade or so there’s been an uptick of interest in Stoicism. Stoic quotes are popular, Stoicism books are selling well, online Stoicism groups are thriving…

So what is going on? What is Stoicism?

Essentially it is an attitude of maintaining an even keel through life (keeping drama in check) while also appreciating life (seizing the day). The easy lessons it teaches are steeped in practicality.

You can find many many good websites and books that explain Stoicism (and some that don’t), but the quick interest of this article is why is it booming?

I think its popularity…

Quick set up: recently someone shared a medical meme on my Facebook feed about nursing that I found funny, so I followed its source which was a nurses’ humor group (lots of dark, gallows humor that nurses excel at). The memes were pretty enjoyable but then someone shared one about the COVID vaccine and the comments were jaw-droppingly ignorant and paranoid.

Now, mind you, these are supposed to be nurses — medical professionals, wielders of science!

(And yes, the internet being the internet, I can be assured that probably a good amount of them aren’t nurses and are, in fact…

In fiction there is a plot device called a MacGuffin (AKA a plot coupon). It is defined as “an object, event, or character in a film or story that serves to set and keep the plot in motion despite usually lacking intrinsic importance.”

Common examples are The Holy Grail of King Arthur’s quest, The Lost Ark in Indiana Jones, even the coveted suitcase in Pulp Fiction. They are things that really don’t matter if they are ever found or revealed, they just motivate the journey.

Whatever the character gains on that journey means infinitely more than the MacGuffin. The lessons…

Being the parent of bi-racial children, I tend to worry about how the world treats them. They can pass for either race, but only if asked or for whatever advantage they wish to take. This is both a “luxury” and a “burden” they have. They can check only one box on the census though, because that’s what the social construct currently allows them. If demanded by either race to pick a side, they are instantly shoved into a unfair no-win situation.

Watching the excellent recent episode of United Shades Of America which focuses on these types of race-spectrum issues in…

Kindness is not easy.

Hate is easy because it’s lazy, it’s cowardly, it is constant lies, it is mindless weakness, it is a con game — a cardboard shield for cardboard bigotry. Hate is blindness and apathy. Hate is chaotic noise and clutter.

Kindness is strength. It is the toil of expanding the spheres of tolerance to find the quality of people and weave that back into the normal fabric of daily life to become equality. It’s hard work, but the goal transcends the self to include the all — the essence of the Golden Rule.

Every religion lays out…

There’s a nice homely little 2013 movie called About Time. It stars Domhnall Gleeson (a Weasley brother in the Harry Potter movies and the conflicted Captain in The Revenant), Rachel McAdams, and Bill Nighy.

It was marketed as a solid general rom-com and enjoyed mild success as such, but it actually and unknowingly may be the most enlightened movie ever made!

I’m not kidding.

**Spoiler Alert (not really a huge spoiler, but it IS an impactful one — so if you want the full impact of the film don’t read the rest)**

The main plot is this: an ordinary awkward…

I just watched the Oscar-winning animated short “If Anything Happens I Love You.” It is based on real tweets students sent to loved ones during a 2018 high school mass shooting incident and explores the heartbreak and grief of parents over their murdered child. It is devastatingly sad. It is something such parents may eventually learn to live with, but definitely will never ‘get over.’ It’s a painful scar.

America is for the most part a great nation but there are many points in its history that loom dark over us, holding us in utter shame as we ignore, even…

Watching the excellent Ken Burns documentary on Ernest Hemingway last week was thought provoking. In one aspect it was sad because although his life was a grand adventure and his dedication to simple, truthful, direct writing was brilliant, he dishonored much of that by succumbing to being a drunk. The documentary explores numerous dichotomies of his life and his psyche to try and explain why. It’s a huge, lovely, tragic mix of passion, multiple head injuries, manic depression, dedication, idealism, family dynamics, douchebaggery, talent, infidelity, and addiction. He lived large in some cases, and died small in others.

In the…

Obviously we are all mostly Moderates who lean right or left, but the extremes are what we hear constantly on media, social and corporate — they are the noise. The extremes are what everyone fights over and Moderates, being moderate, are often lost in that noise and/or assaulted by it even though they are the majority. In the schoolyard of life there are the majority of normal kids and there are the few bullies causing trouble. Bullies are the extremes — the ugh!

Moderates have always tried to form themselves into some sort of a party, but it’s hard because…

Level Up. Upgrade. Love. Honor. Truth.

Follow the Golden Rule.

Jerry James

husband, father, RN, music lover, kindness expert, Halloween enthusiast

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