03 January 2008

Did you hear the one about the nudist at the Republican National Convention?

I've taken to saying that I was born a Stoic, but the World (or Society) made me a Cynic. Meaning Stoic in the classical sense, and Cynic in the modern sense.

Lately, I've realised that cannot be true. No-one is born anything. We're not preprogrammed with thoughts, goals, sexual orientation, or language. So what in my upbringing made me a Stoic?

I am able to relate the several instances at a very young age that caused my introversion. Suffice it to say that there were several occasions that caused me physical pain. The existence of those events make a clear case for that part of my persona. Where in the World did Stoicism come from?

I began reading at an early age, but I didn't really have anything much to read. Anything much that I can recall, anyway. Eventually, during grade school, I took to reading science fiction. Was it science fiction literature, with horrific problems being resolved in future Utopias? I watched far too much Television. Was it Television, where Justice is done in less than an hour, and there are no un-attractive people? Was it my grandfather's farm, where daily hard work didn't have a palpable reward, it was a necessary means to a far, far distant end.

In retrospect, I probably did not develop into a Stoic until sometime during college. Somewhere in my philosophy classes I heard about Stoicism and said "Hey! That's me!"

Perhaps I wasn't a Stoic until that very moment.