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Stoicism Is Not Good

Updated: Jul 18

March 25, 2022
No one cares. In reality, some do and some don't. By not seeking help, you may keep yourself from harbouring expectations, but you also eliminate those who do.

I turned stoic as early as when I was 16. I had no positive influence in life. Half of my teachers at school were frauds at best. My parents had never said a single positive thing to me. I had no positive memories with adults. There was just one teacher in 9th grade who appreciated me.

I was unable to seek help. I felt like people would laugh at me and my problems like my parents, neighbours, and teachers used to. I did not know there were responsible adults out there. I had never had a mentor either. I was comfortable only with young people. It cost me dearly. Looking back, I realize my life would have been 100x easier had I sought and found help. You need all the help you can get when you are applying to college, for jobs and internships, or when you are starting a business. But I did most of it pretty much alone. I sought help from the system though. By system, I mean I went to EducationUSA to seek help when I was planning to study abroad. As a freshman, I sought help from the International Student Advisory Board on campus. I would ask the career center on campus to help me find a job. These were terrible ideas because most people in the system work only for the salary. They don't actually care about your success. I would not recommend anyone to do what I did.

I opened up a bit in college because I thought things would be different in a different country. But I didn't get the help I needed. I guess, people working for money is universal. I remember a lesson that my professor, Dr. Tom Carskadon, used to teach: most workers at an institution are more interested in serving their own needs than they are in serving people they are supposed to serve. This he called the Carskadon Law. Additionally, I am afraid that people who get paid to help may lose the intrinsic human inclination to help because of the overjustification effect. It suggests that "extrinsic rewards undermine intrinsic motivation" (source).

Individuals offer help. The system is just friction.

If you want help, seek out individuals, not the system. This was the secret I did not know. Individuals can be surprisingly helpful. Within an institution, responsibility gets distributed and diluted, so people do not feel individually responsible for the failure or success of the people they are meant to serve. We see this in experiments done to study the bystander effect. When an individual is by himself, he feels more responsible and is more driven to help than he does when there are people around him.

Today, I seek more help. Lack of help was a major cause of my past failures. I suggest that you seek help. The more helpers you have, the easier your life will become.

Stoicism Is Not Good II

I know that no one cares, but someone may. Just by telling my problem, I can make a movement in the universe that may encourage someone to go after what's theirs.

We must understand that we have a non-physical or spiritual signature. Everything we do and say shakes up the Universe. In fact, we can't think a thought or say something without shaking up the entire existence or non-existence, whatever it may be. By sharing our truth, our difficulties, and how we feel about them, we legitimize the struggles of those who are going through something but don't quite have the vocabulary to vocalize it. This way, we give them the courage to speak up.

It also helps professionally because we all have unique stories that can be valuable to others. Since a stoic does not tell his story, he is likely to not give the world as much value as he can. Don't be stoic. Express yourself. Tell your stories. I guarantee that many out there will find value in it. Marcus Aurelius was a stoic, but we read the Meditations and relate to him. In fact, it is a success in itself if someone reads my blog and finds something to relate to.

Extra notes on April 3, 2022

It is not that I did not ask for help. I did not ask for help enough. 12-year-old me used to fight for what's mine. But over time, I learned that the system was top-down controlled. No matter what I did, the outcome was already fixed. At 15, I changed schools. I was excited because the new school was a private school. I thought my talent would finally get recognized. But things turned out much worse than I had thought. I only got ridiculed.

I gained hope again when I moved to the US for college. I thought a new culture might help me. In my freshman year, I often reached out to professors and student organizations for help. I did not get ridiculed, but I definitely did not get the help I needed. I felt like it was the same story. Eventually, I closed off again. I felt like people were just doing their jobs. No one actually cared.

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