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My New Goal: Ataraxia

I get the Word of the Day in my inbox every day and if this one isn’t emblematic of what I desperately need right now, I don’t know what is.

Ataraxia “impassiveness, calmness” is best known from and associated with the ethics of the Athenian philosopher Epicurus (341–270 b.c.). It is acquired by shunning politics and obnoxious people, by paying no attention to the gods or an afterlife, and by devoting oneself to trustworthy friends and a simple life.  Ataraxia was important to the Stoic philosophers, also, but for them the final goal was apatheia, which means not “apathy” in the modern sense but “calmness,” imperturbability gained from the pursuit of virtue. Ataraxia (spelled atarxie) entered English in the early 17th century.

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Well Said, Sir.

 

Quote from the Dallas Chief of Police:

Asked how these events would change police reaction to future protests, the chief reiterated that these were “peaceful protests until these events happened” that Dallas was not going to militarize its police operations. And they were not going to “let cowards change our democracy” by affecting the right to protest.

As the mother-in-law of a Texas peace officer, the shootings in Dallas horrified me.

About a year ago a fellow officer of my son-in-law was shot during a routine traffic stop. Fortunately, he survived. These five men will not be coming home to their families. Every day those families have lived with the knowledge there was the very real possibility of something like this happening. And yet these officers get up and go to work to protect us.

I have great sympathy, too, for the Black Lives Matter folks. They face dangers that white people can’t begin to imagine. Merely driving while black puts many of them at risk.

What is the answer? I wish I knew. But more guns and inflamed rhetoric like Rep. Joe Walsh’s execrable tweet about coming for Obama and those saying Hillary Clinton and “the liberals” are to blame only create more hatred.

Truly a sad day for America.policeman

My drawing of one of New York’s Finest