Saturday, December 31, 2005

Stoic of the Year

Paul Beston in The American Spectator:
Time magazine didn't give President Bush its Person of the Year award, even though Bush's accomplishments -- staying the course through three Iraqi votes, presiding over a booming U.S. economy, and preventing a domestic terror attack for the fourth consecutive year -- seem to stack up pretty well against those of the philanthropists who were honored, and whose work would come to nothing if the country Bush leads were to be disabled.

Maybe it's just as well that for 2005 Bush not be given the honor of Person of the Year, with its vaguely P.C. ring. The kind of year he had, and his response to it, seems to warrant an older name: Bush was the year's great stoic. Whether or not he has ever read the ancient Stoic philosophers, he seems to have internalized some of their teachings. Try this one from Epictetus:

"In a word, neither death, nor exile, nor pain, nor anything of this kind, is the real cause of our doing or not doing any action, but our opinions and the decisions of our will."

No comments: