Never one for dabbling in such esoteric matters as philosophy, 23-year-old Ken Forton of Nashville, Tennessee, was as surprised as anyone to learn that he'd accidentally become a Stoic.
"Funny how these things just sneak up on you," said Forton. "That's life, I guess."
As Forton explained it, he'd always been too busy with the task of living to theorize about life. "All these folks out there chasing tail, chasing swag, chasing happiness - to me, it all seemed like a big waste of time. After all, when you chase something, doesn't it generally run away?"
Given how caught up in their ephemeral pleasure-seeking most of those around him seemed to be, Forton decided at an early age not to focus so much on everyone else, and to simply to get on with things. "People are a handful, for sure. Okay, I'll go ahead and say it - they suck. But no point getting all worked up over it. It's to be expected."
The unwitting young Stoic is known for shrugging off compliments about being extraordinarily wise for his years. "I'm nobody special," insists Forton. "Just another bozo, bumbling along. I've got the same end coming as everyone else. I'm just doing the best I can with what comes between now and then."
While Forton is not actively seeking out opportunities for still greater spiritual attainment than Stoicism, neither is he ruling out the possibility of becoming a saint, a martyr, or some other historical figure, depending on circumstances. "I'll do whatever circumstances require of me, without personal agenda or complaint. And, of course, I'll give it my all. To do anything less would be less than living. And my task is to live."