Monday, October 10, 2011

Stoicism

There are a number of little aphorisms, proverbs, and sayings in general that poignantly inspire us all to better our characters. In the right setting, any saying could have a significant impact on our outlook on life and cause us to either pause in introspection, or merely plunge on with the intent of being a better person and hoping we inspire others to do the same.

It is one thing to hear these and be inspired. It is another to witness them in action.

Stoicism: Merriam-Webster online defines stoicism as "indifference to pleasure or pain; Impassiveness."

My nearly 25 month old son had to get shots today. It was his 2 year well-baby check-up. Yes, he's still "petite," as the doctor so nicely put it at the last visit. He's tiny. But he is one small package of stoic strength.

He regarded the nurses and doctors (and her student-doctor, too) with explicit suspicion, but was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. After they left, he figured he was out of danger and opened up a bit more, until the nurse came back in, carrying the tell-tale tray of doom.

We laid him down, and I held his hands back while he tried to see what she was doing. She stuck him, and he didn't utter a sound. I thought he was still merely watching her when she finally finished and put band-aids on his needle sites. But I looked down to pick him up so we could dress him and his face was screwed up in pain. He still didn't utter a peep.

He reached for me, gave me a hug, and reached for Daddy, all the while staring at the nurse's back as she left the room. He wanted his yi-yi (silkie) and to have Daddy hold him, and that's all we heard. By the time we left the room, he had the same impassive look on his face as when we entered.

Stoicism. I only wish I could stand as such an example for others like my son did for me.

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