Preferred Indifference

The ancient Stoics divided earthly activities between those they could control and those they couldn’t, with all the shades in-between.  For those aspects of life that were in the tweener zone, Stoics recommended an attitude of “preferred indifference,” for the world could as easily quench these tweeners without any recourse by the individual.

The three conspicuous tweeners were: fame, wealth, and health, for one is not entirely in control of any of these, such that life can pivot on each mercilessly…the sudden public attack that defames you utterly, the stock market collapse that wipes out your assets, the hidden aneurysm that leaves you prostrate and just barely clinging to life.

So one should not hold tight to any of these tweeners, but rather have an attitude of preferred indifference — you prefer to be well endowed with all three, but can still be indifferent if they are taken from you, rather than be in a state of shock and despair, for there is an element in all three clearly beyond your control.

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