Sun Tzu came to me early in my youth. I was drawn to Sun Tzu immediately. Author and illustrator Belle Yang shared with me in private that the reason I was drawn to Sun Tzu was because I grew up without my father -- naturally, Sun Tzu served as a father figure to me. Perhaps she's right. Which got me thinking. There are many in the African-American community who are without fathers -- it wouldn't surprise me if they are drawn to Sun Tzu as well for the same reason. Even for those with abusive fathers, Sun Tzu is always there for them, giving them wise guidance every time they reach out to him. All they need to do is open his book's pages on how to win inside themselves and how to win in their battles outside.
Stoicism came to me later in my adulthood. Marcus Aurelius's Meditations was the first book on Stoicism I've read. Then came Seneca. But what sealed for me why Stoicism is worthy of continued study were Epictetus and Musonius Rufus. They are student and teacher, respectively. Epictetus was a former slave. Interestingly, Epictetus was the intellectual hero of Marcus Aurelius, an emperor. The ultimate philosopher, however, was Musonius, who was so respected in his time that when philosophers of his ilk were banished from Rome, he was exempted from this banishment. Due to Epictetus's extremely high moral standards, he was critical with just about everyone but a few individuals like Socrates, Diogenes, and of course Musonius, his sole teacher on Stoicism. Both Epictetus and Musonius lived what they preached. Much of the work of Musonius has been lost, and all that remains is a limited number of lectures and fragments. Fortunately, we have at least half of Epictetus's works, which I highly suspect are essentially from the teachings of Musonius.
As you might have guessed by now my admiration for Sun Tzu, Epictetus, and Musonius is not only because of the incredible wisdom of their principles but also the practicality of those principles. In other words, their principles are both insightful and worthy of being practiced. Sun Tzu, Epictetus, and Musonius displayed confidence in the value and effectiveness of their principles by applying those principles to the everyday battles of their own lives. The decisions, actions, and results speak for themselves.
Therefore, do not be surprised that in the near future I will meld the two philosophies together and create an entirely different philosophy, a hybrid of the best of Sun Tzu and the best of Stoicism. Stay tuned.