Image: Nancy Sherman Ever Widening Circles Podcast

Today, we’re going to clear the “mist on your mental wind screen.” In this episode we’ll be hearing from distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown U, Nancy Sherman. Nancy is also the Inaugural Distinguished Chair of Ethics at the U.S. Naval Academy. She is fascinated with ancient ethics and how it can inform our modern practices, thought processes, and overall lives. She is the author of Stoicism: Ancient Lessons of Modern Resilience.

Let’s dive deep into Nancy’s expertise and learn more about Stoicism’s beautiful way of connecting us in our shared human experience.


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[00:01 – 08:11] Opening Segment

  • I introduce Nancy Sherman
  • The scope of Nancy’s work and impact on the world
    • Teacher of Philosophy
    • Learning the art of stoicism
    • How Stoicism really looks in modern society
    • Akin to life hacks
    • Emotions can be enlightening
    • Working with the military
    • The connectivity of Stoicism

[08:12 – 16:27]  Stoicism: Creating a Better World Through Connection

  • Nancy talks about the origins and development of Stoicism
    • Coming from ancient Greek times
    • Leaking into the founding fathers of America
  • What Stoicism is not
    • Bottling up emotions has a high cost
  • How it was practiced in the ancient world
    • The image of Marcus Aurelius
    • An acceptance that we are in a cooperative endeavor
    • A citizen of the world

[16:28 – 35:44] Dispelling the Myths of Stoicism

  • Not about being ‘invulnerable’
    • We are not metal
    • We lose our humanity if we try to be unemotional
  • You don’t have to ‘go it alone’
    • We are in it together
    • We need each other
  • Stoic social grit – the true practice of the Stoics
    • Revelations of emotions
    • Stand back and reflect
    • Thinking fast, acting slow
  • Nancy gives a modern example of rational stoic wisdom
    • Bringing a community together in healing
  • A word about Conspiracy of Goodness Network

[35:45 – 51:47] Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience

  • How Stoicism has been changed
    • From virtue to becoming self-help
  • The image of widening circles
    • Bringing the outermost inner
  • Nancy shares how Stoicism can help with some modern issues
    • Don’t be indifferent to the world
    • Approach aversive things with a measured response
    • Example from a war story
  • How to deal with the outrage of our modern issues
    • Emotions can inform a moral response
    • Nancy’s work as a professor

[51:48 – 58:22] Your Duty is Dignity

  • Nancy’s thoughts on dignity
    • A sense of human worth across the globe
    • How you should see each other
    • People are the ends not the means
  • Summarizing the practices that inform Stoicism
  • How Nancy’s book reveals true Stoic practices
    • Invulnerability is not the goal
    • Cooperation and respect
    • Denying pain is not a permanent solution
    • Monitoring quick impressions
  • Stoicism is the way forward

[58:23 – 1:04:35] Closing Segment

  • Connect with Nancy
    • Links below
  • What proves to Nancy that it’s an amazing world
  • Final words and announcements

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Nancy on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter. Check out to unlock more ancient secrets that can impact our present living.

Conspiracy of Goodness Links:






Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world. Hear her latest conversations with thought leaders on the Conspiracy of Goodness Podcast--new episodes every Wednesday!