Columns and Letters

Letter: Maintaining our sanity

September 13,  2023

Dear Editor,
    As a child, our thinking is extremely self centered, but as we grow older our thinking expands to include others. I used to think that as children we consciously or unconsciously looked up to and/or counted on our brothers, sisters, friends, parents, teachers, professors, or elders for their wisdom. At some point, as we age, we had an opportunity to explore many different subjects or disciplines. A very small minority of people are politically motivated to study municipal, provincial, national, international, or even global issues with the result that many societies throughout the world have the good fortune to have wise leaders to help guide society.
    A large percentage of the global population is suffering as a result of the current state of our global environment. Previous, collective decisions by wealthy countries have brought about suffering and unhappiness for billions of people.
    I have read about and personally know well educated, dedicated, environmental activists who have “burned out.” They have had to resign from their positions and have had to change their lives in order to heal physically and mentally in order to regain their overall health.
    I believe a gigantic part of this pertains to the person’s level of happiness. If you are focussed on trying to make a positive difference about the climate emergency and you run into opposition day after day after day it wears your happiness level down to an unhealthy level. When this takes place, it is imperative to seriously look at how to regain a healthy level of happiness. I am not talking about attaining euphoria. I am talking about regaining a normal level of personal happiness in order to be able to function in a socially acceptable way.
    I feel there is another way to look at our response in a healthy way so stick with me. The questions I pose are: “As concerned citizens, how can we maintain our sanity, our happiness, and our dedication simultaneously? How can we achieve an appropriate level of stoicism?”
    What is the number one rule of Stoicism? Accept what you can and can’t control. If we get this right, we remove the ability for the areas of life outside our control to impact our peace of mind, and we’re free to focus our efforts on the areas of life we can control – this essentially makes us far more resilient and effective as individuals.
Paul Strome


























































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