Stoic. You probably know what it means: “a person who accepts what happens without complaint or showing emotion.”

I was in college when I learned that this was referring to a particular group of people who adhered to the philosophy of Zeno and then Epictetus, ancient Greek and Roman philosophers…but even then I didn’t learn where the word came from.

Apparently the Greek word from which we get stoic is stoa which means … wait for it … PORCH! That’s right. Stoic means “from the porch.” Why, you may ask? Because Zeno liked to give lectures from his portico. His followers would gather around his porch to listen to him, and so they became known as Stoics.

Do you accept whatever befalls you with detachment?

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