Sometimes, Stoicism can get a reputation of being selfish where we should always think about how we should act, rely on ourselves, and not care for others. I can see where this concept is coming and the truth is, Stoicism is more than that. Stoicism extends not just to ourselves but to how we interact with others. Thus, let’s answer if Stoics care about others.
The Stoics care about others, and they are taught to love other people the same way as they love their close relatives. Stoicism is about being unselfish in how we do good to others which means doing good to others and our friends without expecting something in return.
In this blog post, I will share why Stoics care about other people. We will discuss the Stoic’s view of friendship and why Stoics can have friends and not have friends if they do so.
Do Stoics care about other people?
Stoics care about other people because they believe that we are interconnected with each other. Stoics love and care for other people in an altruistic manner since they don’t expect something from others. Finally, they care and interact with others while following the four stoic virtues.
While Stoicism is famous for the concept of not relying on others and being solely responsible for our happiness, it is something more than that.
For one, Stoicism believes in the interconnectedness of this world.
The Stoics believe that each one of us is interconnected. Therefore, we are in some way connected with each other.
Thus, we have to be good to everyone around us.
To Stoics, our interconnectedness with each other is part of nature. By nature, we are all connected, and we should accept that face knowing that it is something not within our control.
The Stoics believe in the dichotomy of control, and it is also one of the reasons why many see Stoics as emotionless or someone who only cares about themselves.
Basically, the dichotomy of control states that we should only focus on what we can control.
This means that because our world is interconnected, we should accept that we are a part of society.
If we want to be good to society, we should be good to other people.
However, the concept of being good to others can be vague. That’s why the Stoics follow the four Stoic virtues when dealing with other people or their friends.
The four Stoic virtues are wisdom, justice, temperance, and courage.
These four are the Stoic’s guide to caring for others.
They should always ask if they interact with others with wisdom, justice, temperance, and courage.
For example, they should be wise in knowing who to befriend since some can negatively influence their virtues.
They should also act with fairness to show justice.
Temperance in the sense that Stoics don’t let emotions harm their rational thinking while interacting with others.
Finally, they demonstrate the courage to stand up to what they believe.
A Stoic can care and serve others because it is right and just.
Because Stoics care for others, it is only natural for them to have friends. However, the same four virtues apply to friends.
In the next section, I will give an example of someone you probably know who shows a Stoic attitude to his friends.
But first, let’s discuss Stoicism and friendships.
Can Stoics have friends?
Stoics could have friends if they choose to. However, they are not forced to have friends. The Stoics believe that while they should love other people the same way we love our family, choosing to be friends with everyone can harm and influence their rational thinking. That’s why they are careful who they want to let into their lives.
Stoics can have friends. As I explained earlier, since Stoics can care for other people, having friends is possible.
However, the Stoics still follow the dichotomy of control and the Stoic virtues when dealing with friends.
One is not expecting things from others since we can’t control their actions.
That means being friendly and loving our friends without expecting them to do the same.
Cicero, a Stoic Politician, said that our love for our family members could also be applied to everyone.
Remember that our world is interconnected. Thus, we must love everyone around us like how we love our family.
An example of Stoicism and friendship is Batman. Earlier, I made a blog post talking about Batman’s stoic traits and how he interacts with his friends in a Stoic way.
For example, Batman demonstrated Stoic virtues such as wisdom when he has plans if his friends betray him.
While that may seem farfetched to others, Batman is only rational since he considers the people in Justice League to be his friends.
It may seem too much for our ordinary life, but that is an example of how Stoics prepare for the worse. So even if he loves his friends, he doesn’t let emotion harm his rational thinking.
If you are interested in knowing what other aspects of Batman show Stoic traits, please check this blog post. I also explained some other characteristics that made Batman not Stoic. Here is the link: Is Batman a Stoic?
Do Stoics need friends?
The Stoics don’t need friends if the person who wants to get into their lives could negatively influence them. This is because Stoics always need to act based on virtues. However, the Stoics know that friendship is something we should appreciate, and we should seize every opportunity to love our friends if we have one.
Stoics should have the correct judgment on who they want to let into their lives. They shouldn’t compromise to experience friendship.
Think of friendship as a way for people to get into our lives. Thus, they would undoubtedly influence our thoughts and actions once they’re in.
Thus, a Stoic should always be cautious whether the person they’re letting into their lives would benefit or harm them.
Remember that we are often influenced by the people closest to us. Thus, we must always be cautious.
Wanting to have friends is not a reason to accept people who can influence us for the worse.
In that case, a Stoic doesn’t need a friend.
However, as Seneca said, “Whoever then understands what is good, can also know how to love.“
Loving others even as a friend is a part of being human, and Seneca values loving others as practicing wisdom.
This is important since we talked about the 4 Stoic virtues earlier.
Finally, we should understand the Stoic concept of Memento Mori.
If you find someone you think is fit to be your friend, remember the impermanence of things.
As long as you have the chance to be compassionate and appreciate your friend, do it. Seize every opportunity you have since we don’t know what the future holds.
Stoics should be altruistic because they should love without expecting things in return.
Instead of waiting for someone to love them back, they seize every opportunity they have to show how they appreciate their friends.
This leads to fewer regrets later on in life.
Thus, a Stoic cares for others and can have friends. They are urged to love other people the same way they love their families. However, note that Stoics should be careful in choosing who they want to take into our lives.
What’s Next? Do you know what the Stoics say about Marriage? If you’re interested in the topic, feel free to check this blog post: Do Stoics Believe in Marriage?
“Only the things I love.“
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If you’re following me, you’ll know that I believe it is essential to have some tools, whether it’s for personal development or lifestyle in general.
So, here are the things I love.
If you want to learn things for free, I recommend watching my YouTube Channel. Click the Button Below to go straight into my Channel. 🙂
Okay, let me first explain my Channel.
I believe that I really can’t explain everything too well on my blog. That’s why I created a YouTube Channel so I can easily explain a lot of things. Plus, I believe that Video Sharing is the future.
The next thing is books. Books are, for me, one of the cheapest ways to get invaluable information. We can learn personal development, finance, career, relationships, and many more from books.
Here, I will be listing my favorite books in different categories.
- For Beginners – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – Personal development has a lot of concepts and ideas to learn. Thus it can be really hard for beginners to know where to start. Thus, I recommend this book since all the basic concepts of personal development are here(except finance, check what I recommended for that)
- Productivity – The One Thing by Gary Keller – This book teaches us the power of focusing on one thing which is the ultimate source of productivity. The concepts taught are what I am using to constantly publish YouTube videos while maintaining this website.
- Busy? – Make Time by Jack Knapp – This book teaches us how to make time for the things we love. The concept is really simple but I think that makes it a book worth reading.
- Health – Lifespan by Dr.Sinclair – This Book teaches about the latest scientific research on lifespan. In his book, he has shared numerous things he is doing to slow down his aging process. This can be as easy as eating less which he recommends.
- Finance – The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason – Perhaps one of the first books I’ve read about Finance, this book for me is the best if we are talking about learning basic finance such as basic saving and investing. The concepts are very simple but effective.
Take this advice as a grain of salt.
I don’t recommend buying Audiobooks one by one. I mean, audiobooks can be quickly finished by listening while working out or doing some mindless tasks.
So here is to save you some money. Just go for a monthly subscription to Audible. I believe that you will save a lot of money with that plus, they usually give freebies to anyone starting.
My Audiobook Recommendation will always be the same as my book recommendations, but I personally like The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. I like how she is so casual while reading her book.