KAI WHITING

PHILOSOPHER | AUTHOR

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AN INTRODUCTION

 I am a Stoicism and sustainability researcher and university lecturer based at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. I am the co-author of Being Better: Stoicism for a World Worth Living in, where Leonidas Konstantakos and I discuss how people influenced by Stoic philosophy might approach many contemporary issues, including education, socioeconomic inequality, and climate breakdown.

“Life is simply the canvas upon which we paint. As with art, the way we apply the brushstrokes, the colours we use, and the scene we draw are what give our work value and meaning. In other words, what we do with our life is what matters, which is why the Stoics were interested in teaching us how to live, which includes how to approach death.”

Kai Whiting and Leonidas Konstantakos, Being Better: Stoicism for a World Worth Living In

I have written academic papers on Stoic theology, Stoicism and sustainability (food, clothing, material consumption) and Stoicism and education. I have been interviewed by ABC Australia, Vice, and the UK Daily Mail amongst others. I have written various articles that discuss matters linked to free speech and identity politics from a Stoic perspective. I am currently working with Leonidas on Book 2…

Other random facts? I speak 3 languages. My favourite programme is Lego Ninjago. My favourite book series is Robert Muchamore’s CHERUB series. My favourite bands at the moment are Lacuna Coil and Karnivool. I wish I was less fond of cake.

My ultimate aim is to make Stoicism accessible to everyone interested in a living a life worthy of being lived regardless of socioeconomic background, nationality, political or religious belief.

AREAS OF INTEREST & EXPERTISE

TRIBUTE: MY GRANDMOTHER

One of my grandmother’s favourite sayings was “Aim high so if you fall, you fall in the middle”.

I pray that I have at least done that…

I do all that I do to honour my maternal grandmother, who in death help me find Stoicism. I remember thinking in the hospital waiting room that I wasn’t sure what I would do if she didn’t pull through her surgery. I wasn’t sure where her death would lead me. I wasn’t sure what it would mean for my family.

When my family and I heard the news that she had died, the Stoic book was on my lap. I remember looking around the waiting room as the oxygen got sucked out of it. All hope had gone. I remember watching the faces I had known all my life contort from shock into pain within seconds. I remember finding it odd that I wasn’t crying.

Instead, I was working the Stoic principles through in my mind. I remember the solace Stoicism brought me when the first overwhelming emotion was not fear nor grief but gratitude. I was sincerely grateful for the life my grandmother had lived and the things she had taught me.

IN THE GARDEN WITH SIMON DREW

As a contributor to The Walled Garden Philosophical Society, I’m exploring many modes of philosophical and artistic expression, all with the aim of having true communion with the divine. In my Garden, you’ll find poetry, photography, philosophical writings, musical compositions, and more.

UPCOMING EVENTS

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

BEING BETTER: STOICISM FOR A WORLD WORTH LIVING IN

Twenty-three centuries ago, in a marketplace in Athens, Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism, built his philosophy on powerful ideas that still resonate today: all human beings can become citizens of the world, regardless of their nationality, gender, or social class; happiness comes from living in harmony with nature; and, most important, humans always have the freedom to choose their attitude, even when they cannot control external circumstances. In our age of political polarization and environmental destruction, Stoicism’s empowering message has taken on new relevance. In Being Better, Kai Whiting and Leonidas Konstantakos apply Stoic principles to contemporary issues such as social justice, climate breakdown, and the excesses of global capitalism. They show that Stoicism is not an ivory-tower philosophy or a collection of Silicon Valley life hacks but a vital way of life that helps us live simply, improve our communities, and find peace in a turbulent world.

APPLY FOR MENTORSHIP

Under my mentorship, mentees will be instructed on philosophical principles so that their beliefs, actions, and attitudes become more consistent over time. While I can (and will on request) provide assistance in helping mentees to resolve or manage problems that they are experiencing in their life, my focus will always be to provide them with the critical thinking tools and methodologies they need to work through and solve their own problems.

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