Enduring Fortitude

“Life is pain, Highness.  Anyone who tells you different is selling something.”

-The Dread Pirate Roberts

The third of the classic Virtues is Fortitude.  It’s also the one that seems to be the hardest to talk about.  In fact I remember quoting Cicero on Fortitude and actually upsetting someone.  The quote was, “All pain is either severe or slight, if slight, it is easily endured; if severe, it will without doubt be brief.”  The nature of pain was called in to question and whether or not life is worth living if you are in constant pain.  According to Cicero (and the Stoics) pain that doesn’t kill you is by definition minor.  So let’s take a gander at fortitude and what it means to a Stoic. Continue reading