Stoic has it’s origins in the philosophy of Stoicism, and to understand the word, we’re going to have to investigate the philosophy a little.
Root: Greek, stōïkos, from the Athenian Stoa Poikilē, or Painted Porch, where Zeno taught the philosophy we know as stoicism.
Definition: One who endures the ups and downs of life without expressing emotion or complaint; an indifference to emotion.
- The Irish were ever a stoic nation, expressing their anger lament mostly through song and poem.
- Rachael knew her grandfather to be stoic of character. No one could have lived through so much pain and suffering and still diligently carry on with life.
Stoic is stored in my mind beside the words stolid and stalwart. I think they form a harmonious triptych, not only in sound, but in meaning.
Anyway, let me introduce you to the Stoics. “Hello”. They were a bunch of Greeks who believed that it’s not what you say but what you do that matters. They favoured the development of self-control to combat destructive emotions such as anger and jealousy, through the practice of logic, contemplation and concentration. They tried to live a life in harmony with the universe. They saw all men as equal, even slaves, (no word yet on how they viewed women) and advocated a brotherhood of man.
Of course, this is only the most brief of introductions to a complex and quite noble philosophy. More info at The Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoicism.
The modern day meaning of stoic focuses on an indifference to emotion, which is a pity, as it strips away most of the beauty and grace of the philosophy.