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Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage

Dan Crenshaw

Top 10 Best Quotes

“You have purpose in this life. God has you here for a reason. You may not know it, but He does. Your job is to find it. No one else can. You need to understand that your purpose may be great in the eyes of the world, or it may be commonplace and seemingly small. Your purpose might be your family, your children. Your purpose might be tutoring a child and changing their life. Your purpose might be the business you started. Your purpose might be cleaning up your block. Your purpose might be in the help you give others. Your purpose might be in the example you set. Only you and God know. Only you and God need to know. Search until you find it - and until then, act as if you have it, because you're wasting time otherwise.”

“Run down the list of those who felt intense anger at something: the most famous, the most unfortunate, the most hated, the most whatever: Where is all that now? Smoke, dust, legend…or not even a legend. Think of all the examples. And how trivial the things we want so passionately are. An emotional response is a human response, I get it. I too have succumbed to emotion, more often than I care to admit. But it is also a futile response. It isn’t an objectively beneficial response. This is central to Stoicism.”

“Be someone who is cool under pressure. Value serenity instead of outrage. It seems that our culture is moving in the wrong direction here. If you are blessed enough to not be on social media, you might be surprised to learn that the angriest, most passionate public figures are rewarded with the most clicks and biggest audiences. Our culture has begun to confuse passion with substance, reward the loudest and angriest voices, and thus incentivize behavior wholly at odds with Stoic wisdom. The number of decibels your voice hits as you scream about how right you are is not necessarily an indicator of how much sense you are making. As a society founded on reason and Western Enlightenment ideals, we must hold ourselves to a higher standard. We have to collectively stop allowing emotion and passion to pass for reason and factual debate.”

“Acceptance for what you truly can’t control, but responsibility for what you can control. The Stoic does not believe in categorizing so many things as ‘outside your control’ that you simply become a victim of circumstance. Far more is within your control than you might think.”

“A shallow reading of a problem begets outrage; a detailed approach to a problem encourages moderation.”

“A good rule of thumb is this: If you aren’t making someone laugh with your complaints, then you might be doing it wrong. Lighthearted humor wrapped up in your menial grumbling should be the goal.”

“… a culture characterized by grit, discipline, and self-reliance is a culture that survives. A culture characterized by self-pity, indulgence, outrage, and resentment is a culture that falls apart. It really is that simple, and it is a truly existential choice”

“the angriest and most passionate voices, start to be rewarded by public opinion. This phenomenon is clearly observed in mainstream and social media. Consider the following comparison, for instance. After sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg made her landmark UN speech in 2019, media attention soared. While her efforts and sense of initiative were undeniably impressive, especially for a teenager, the fact remains that her credentials on the subject were nonexistent, and her scowling message offered no practical solutions whatsoever. Compare her accomplishments to another young environmentalist named Boyan Slat, who doesn’t make passionate speeches or hurl angry slogans, but did design a revolutionary ocean cleanup system that captures debris ranging from one-ton ghost nets to tiny microplastics. At the time of this writing, a quick Google search shows 69 million search results for Greta, and just over 500,000 for Boyan. Greta was named ‘Person of the Year’ by Time magazine. Boyan was not.”

“You have purpose in this life. God has you here for a reason. You may not know it, but He does. Your job is to find it. No one else can. You need to understand that your purpose may be great in the eyes of the world, or it may be commonplace and seemingly small. Your purpose might be your family, your children. Your purpose might be tutoring a child and changing their life. Your purpose might be the business you started. Your purpose might be cleaning up your block. Your purpose might be in the help you give others. Your purpose might be in the example you set. Only you and God know. Only you and God need to know. Search until you find it—and until then, act as if you have it, because you’re wasting time otherwise. ‘You were designed to use your reason and your natural gifts—and to cultivate those assets toward fulfillment of a higher end,’ as my friend Ben Shapiro writes.”

“You can complain about the small stuff, but it should be lighthearted, quippy, and avoid personal attacks. Being still is about having the ability to delay an emotional reaction and replace it with a preplanned response. The response is intentional and deliberate, not reactionary, and based on the qualities and attributes that you have already aspired to as part of your hero archetypes. You are choosing to sweat the small stuff, but you are choosing to do so with some grace, humor, and self-awareness. This isn’t easy. It can go wrong. It may take practice and keen observation of how people react to you. But don’t overthink it—just remember a few key principles. Incorporate humor and sarcasm when possible. Sarcasm is a uniquely American and British attribute, and I think we should embrace it. Smile. Don’t overdo it. Just sweat the small stuff enough to make sure the frustration valve is released a little bit.”

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Book Keywords:

stoic, victimhoodculture, moderation, public-opinion, venting, social-media, here-for-a-reason, outrage, stoicism, purpose-of-life, complaining

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