There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will. ― Zeno of Citium
Zeno of Citium was a philosopher from ancient Greece who is credited with founding the Stoic school of philosophy. He was born in Citium, a city in Cyprus, and is believed to have lived in the 3rd century BC. Zeno was a student of the Cynic philosopher Crates of Thebes, and his philosophy was heavily influenced by the Cynic emphasis on living a simple and virtuous life in accordance with nature. Zeno’s teachings were the foundation of Stoicism, which would go on to become one of the dominant philosophical schools of the Hellenistic period. Despite the passage of time, Zeno’s ideas continue to be relevant and influential today. In this article, we will explore ten quotes attributed to Zeno of Citium and discuss their meaning and significance.
- “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” This quote encourages individuals to be good listeners and to think carefully before they speak.
- “The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control.” This quote emphasizes the importance of understanding the distinction between what we can control and what we cannot, and of making choices that are within our power.
- “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” This quote suggests that happiness is not dependent on external events, but rather on our ability to let go of worries that are outside of our control.
- “Happiness does not depend on external events, but rather on the way we interpret them.” This quote emphasizes the idea that our perception and interpretation of events can have a significant impact on our happiness.
- “The only thing that is truly yours is your own opinion of yourself.” This quote suggests that our own opinion of ourselves is the only thing that is truly within our control, and that it is important to maintain a positive and healthy self-image.
- “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” This quote suggests that true wisdom comes from recognizing and accepting our own limitations and lack of knowledge.
- “He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.” This quote suggests that overcoming fear is a key step towards achieving freedom and autonomy.
- “The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” This quote encourages individuals to surround themselves with positive and supportive people who can help them to be their best selves.
- “The only true failure is the failure to try.” This quote suggests that failure is not determined by the outcome of our efforts, but rather by whether or not we put forth the effort in the first place.
- “The world is not a political matter, but a moral one.” This quote suggests that moral considerations are more important than political ones, and that individuals should prioritize their values and principles above all else.
In conclusion, Zeno of Citium was a philosopher who made significant contributions to the development of the Stoic philosophy. His ideas continue to be relevant and influential today, and his quotes provide insight into the core principles of Stoicism. These principles include the importance of virtue, reason, and the ability to overcome negative emotions. By understanding the wisdom of Zeno of Citium, we can gain a deeper understanding of this important philosophical tradition and its relevance to our modern lives.
If you’re interested in learning about the founder of stoicism, Zeno of Citium, I recommend the book “The Stoics: A Guide for the Perplexed” by Christopher Gill. This book provides a thorough overview of the life and thought of Zeno, as well as the other major figures in the stoic tradition. Gill’s writing is clear and engaging, making this book a great resource for anyone looking to learn more about Zeno and his philosophy.
The book covers a wide range of topics, including ethics, logic, and physics, and offers a balanced and nuanced look at the key ideas of stoicism. “The Stoics” is an excellent choice for anyone looking to learn more about Zeno of Citium and the stoic tradition.
Now that you’ve read about the wisdom of Zeno of Citium and the relevance of Stoicism in our modern lives, we would love to hear your thoughts. Share your insights and reflections in the comments section below. How do you apply Zeno’s teachings in your own life? Have you read any other books or articles on Stoicism that you would recommend? Join the conversation and let’s discuss the timeless wisdom of this ancient philosopher.