On the Shortness of Life

Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.

Seneca

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, one of the greatest stoic philosophers of all times. He was a wealthy man, materially, but even more spiritually. Also, he could wish for anything, but he lived a simple life. He knew what life truly represents and how to manage to spend it well.

According to this, Seneca wrote a nice completion of dialogues which should be on your list of book priorities if it hasn’t been so far.

Each one of us often forgets how precious life is that we spend a lot of time and energy on people and situations which doesn’t mean anything to us, and thus we forget living in the moment, cherishing each one of them as it is the last.

Take a first step just by listening to your breath and then get deep into the dialogues and make your one life genuinely worthwhile!

I’ll conclude with Seneca’s words:

It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. Life is long enough, and it’s been given to us in a generous measure for accomplishing the greatest things if the whole of it is well invested. But when life is squandered through soft and careless living, and when it’s spent on no worthwhile pursuit, death finally presses and we realize that the life which we didn’t notice a passing has passed away. So it is: the life we are given isn’t short but we make it so; we’re not ill provided but we are wasteful of life. Just as impressive and princely wealth is squandered in an instant when it passes into the hands of a poor manager, but wealth however modest grows through careful deployment if it is entrusted to a responsible guardian just so our lifetime offers ample scope to the person who maps it out well.

 

The person who devotes every second of his time to his own needs and who organizes each day as if it were a complete life neither longs for nor is afraid of the next day. For what new kind of pleasure is there that any hour can now bring? Everything has been experienced, everything enjoyed to the full. For the rest, fortune may make arrangements as it wishes; his life has already reached safety. Addition can be made to this life, but nothing taken away from it-and addition made in the way that a man who is already satisfied and full takes a portion of food which he doesn’t crave and yet has room for.

 

Featured image: Lo sbuffo

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