There are two kinds of work: necessary and unnecessary. Can I refrain from unnecessary work? Refrain comes from the Latin word for bridle. Can I refrain from unnecessary speech? It’s not so easy.
More suffering is created by emotional reactivity than by emotions themselves. Emotions are fine, neither bad nor good, just passing through. Sometimes we identify with our emotions to the extent that we become them. While emotional reactivity can be understood, it cannot be justified.
Intelligence is knowing what to do. Wisdom is knowing what not to do.
What do we learn from the death of Chadwick Boseman? At least this: That Stoics are sometimes confused with super heroes; that it is not important to live a long life; that living well is dying well; and that Einstein was undoubtedly right when he wrote, “The only rational way to educate is by example.”
Right action has both a negative and a positive dimension—as, indeed, does all of life. In its Buddhistic dimension, it’s what we refrain from doing. In its mystic-Christian dimension, it’s what is done through us. These are not contradictory positions. They’re tango partners.