One might think that the teachings of the "old" philosophers have little to do with our livestoday, after all, that was more than 2000 years ago. The Philobrunch 'Stoicism for everyday life' with Julia Kalmund, founder of Street Philosophy, offered participants an opportunity to study the thinking and maxims of the Stoics. It quickly became clear how up-to-date the stoic approach is and what a great tool it can be for people oftodayto handle life's difficulties.

Ms Kalmund reminded us that since ancient times the claim of philosophy has always been a practical one, as Musonius Rufus, a Roman stoic, emphasized: "Philosophy is justified when one combines rational teaching with rational action." Epictet, one of the The main representative of Stoicism even said, "But what is philosophy? Does it not mean to prepare us for anything that may come? "

The term Stoic goes back to the Greek term "stoa" - the Greek word for colonnade or arcade. Zenon of Kition began his teaching around 300 BC and founded a school in the colonnade of the Agora in Athens named after the Stoa. 100 years later Stoicism came to Rome and became much more practice-oriented. The three best known representatives of the Stoic school in Rome were Epiktet, Seneca and Marc Aurel. Ms. Kalmund based her statements on their teachings and maxims.

Stoicism is not just a dynamic, trade-oriented philosophy, it also emphasizes that only a person who is virtuous and ethical can lead a good life. 

Unfortunately Stoicism has "gone out of fashion" because it is falsely equated to asceticism and renunciation. 'Askêsis' in Greek means exercise, training, task. This is very much in keeping with the basic idea of Ethica Rationalis, because we are convinced that if anybody wants to live or "practice" a virtue, he needs willpower and a sound sense of reason. These qualities are needed to make rational decisions that also help progress self-knowledge, and take a step towards the ideal of virtue (second nature). Repetitive practice in the midst of society (applied ethics) is essential.

The impetus comes from the desire to better know ourselves and therefore to act more deliberately, because as Marcus Aurelius says "Our soul has the color of our thoughts". Ms. Kalmund emphasized that philosophy does not claim to have an answer to everything. Rather, we must learn to stay in the questions. Our experiences make us stronger if we manage to reflect upon them. We must learn to sharpen our perception, and use our free will and intellect with courage and wisdom to make the right choices.

How do I perceive people and events around me? When we learn to distance ourselves from our emotions, it allows us to be more mindful and take better action, always asking ourselves: are our decisions and actions ethically justifiable?

For the Stoics a key requirement for a successful life, was the ability to recognize what we can influence or change, and what lies outside our power. Our perception of things, not the things themselves, determines whether we feel happy or unhappy. 

In the spirit of Aristotle, who said, "Excellence is not an action, but a habit. We are what we repeatedly do." and according to Epictetus, who admonished not only to be content with learning, but always to practice and train, Ms Kalmund conducted practical exercises with the participants, demonstrating that a happy, balanced life is not possible without one's own effort. Quite the contrary "Life is constant training without any time-out".