A seagull stands on the head of a statue representing late Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius at the Capitol hill in downtown Rome on December 30, 2014 . AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
Move over, Marcus Aurelius © AFP

For some time now I have been noting and enjoying a new stoicism in public political dialogue. It began with David Cameron’s “it’s not a complete disaster” and was followed by Theresa May’s “it won’t be Armageddon” (good to know).

And now we have the Financial Times’s very own Merryn Somerset Webb with “it won’t be long-term economic hell” (“ How I became a Brexiter, thanks to Nick Clegg”, FT Money, December 15).

True, I hadn’t realised the bar was set so low. But more than a comment on the revolutionary political and economic situation in which now we find ourselves, I think this new stoicism also offers us a completely different philosophy of life, and I’ve taken to using it as such.

For example “How was your weekend? — Great thanks, not a complete disaster”. Or “Go anywhere nice for your holidays? — Yeah, really good, thanks, we gave economic hell a miss this year.”

See how much better it makes you feel? Lower your expectations and happiness follows. Move over, Marcus Aurelius, the new Stoics are in town.

Rupert Evenett
London SE3, UK

Get alerts on Letter when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window)