Whining Does No Good

“You cry, I’m suffering severe pain! Are you then relieved from feeling it, if you bear it in an unmanly way?” —Seneca, Moral Letters, 78.17 quoted in , pg. 48

Great insight. What is termed a “Stoic response” to suffering is really a response rooted in this wisdom: whining, complaining, and having a pity party does nothing to solve the real problem going on. The faster I can get out of my self-focused emotional pity party, the sooner I can get to actually solving problems.

It’s worth noting that the Stoic view of manliness, referenced by the term “unmanly” above, does not refer to our modern conception of being tough, gruff, or emotionally detached. Rather, manliness meant living a virtuous life; that is, living in the right way. The word most commonly used for virtue, αρετή (arete), can also be translated as “excellence” (c.f. Philippians 4:8).

As Ben Bergeron says, “NEVER WHINE. NEVER COMPLAIN. NEVER MAKE EXCUSES.” (, pg. 65)