Welcome again to Mid-Week Meditations, Proinertech’s weekly dip into the pool of stoic knowledge, and a information to utilizing its waters to replicate on and enhance your life.
Welcome again to Mid-Week Meditations, Proinertech’s weekly dip into the pool of stoic knowledge, and a…
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This week’s choice comes from Roman thinker Seneca the Youthful. He believes being poor is a way of thinking. One you’ll be able to management:
It isn’t the person who has too little, however the man who craves extra, that’s poor.
Letter II: On discursiveness in studying, line 6.
What It Means
Mainly, being “poor” isn’t about what you’ve got, it’s about what you need regardless of what you have already got. The extra you need, the poorer you’ll really feel, no matter what you already possess. This quote from Seneca is definitely a riff on a line from Epicurus, who mentioned “Contented poverty is an honourable property.” Seneca explains that “Certainly, if it’s contented, it isn’t poverty in any respect.” He goes on to say that it doesn’t matter how a lot you’ve got in case you spend all of your time cursing what you don’t have, particularly since that retains you from being hopeful of future positive aspects.
What to Take From It
Let’s not confuse what Seneca is saying right here. He’s not saying that poverty isn’t an actual factor. Individuals have suffered in actual poverty because the daybreak of civilization, desperately in want of one thing—be it meals, water, shelter. What Seneca is speaking about right here is the final idea of poverty, of assigning ourselves as “poor.” He’s saying it’s the act of wanting, the coveting, that places you in that way of thinking. The extra you need, the extra you are feeling such as you’re lacking, and the poorer you’ll be in your personal thoughts.
I like to think about life as a ingesting glass, and water because the stuff you need and wish in life. Happiness and contentedness—what Seneca calls “sufficient”—is when your glass is stuffed to the brim with water. The extra you need, nonetheless, the bigger your glass must be, and meaning it is going to take you extra water to fill your glass and obtain happiness. Furthermore, you’ll spend your life hating the actual fact your glass isn’t full, when you possibly can have spent your vitality discovering methods to really fill it. Alternatively, when you’ve got a small glass, it takes little or no water to fill it, and that makes it a lot simpler to succeed in that state of contentedness.
There’s loads of philosophical debate over what it really means to “be glad,” however in case you’re…
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On the very least, reevaluate your desires. Trim them down realistically, prioritize them, and outline your model of “sufficient,” the stuff you actually should be glad. Cease wallowing at your lot in life and deal with how one can get these issues. Higher but, to cease feeling so poor, cease wanting a lot. In spite of everything, when you’ve got nothing and wish nothing, you’ve bought all you want.
You may learn all of Seneca’s Ethical letters to Lucilius without cost right here.