What do you have to show for your years?

“Many times an old man has no other evidence besides his age to prove he has lived a long time.” – make sure that – in the end – it is not about you!

“Many times an old man has no other evidence besides his age to prove he has lived a long time.”

In his contemplative work “On Tranquillity of Mind,” the Stoic philosopher Seneca poses a thought-provoking question: “Many times an old man has no other evidence besides his age to prove he has lived a long time.” This striking observation beckons us to reflect on the true measure of a life well-lived. Is it quantified by the number of years, the accumulation of wealth, or the attainment of status? Or is there a more profound metric, one rooted in the virtues of temperance, justice, wisdom, and courage?

Our contemporary society, much like in the times of Seneca, often gauges success by material gains and social standing. Yet, this external focus can lead us astray from what truly enriches our existence. The Stoic philosophy, with its emphasis on personal virtue and inner tranquillity, offers a counterpoint to this externally driven pursuit. It suggests that the worth of our years is not in the tangible trophies we collect, but in the intangible qualities we cultivate within ourselves.

This perspective finds resonance in the teachings of the Bible, particularly in The Sermon on the Mount. Here, virtues such as humility, meekness, and the thirst for righteousness are extolled – virtues that align closely with the Stoic ideals. These teachings encourage us to look beyond the superficial markers of success and to consider the depth of our character and the richness of our spirit.

In our daily lives, this philosophy challenges us to make decisions that prioritize what truly matters. It’s not about the grand gestures or the monumental achievements, but rather, the everyday choices that shape our character. In Raymond Chandler’s “The Long Goodbye,” a character poignantly remarks, “Mostly, I just kill time, and it dies hard.” This sentiment echoes the peril of squandering our most precious resource – time – on pursuits that yield little in terms of personal growth or moral development.

To live a life that is rich in virtue, we must embrace the Stoic practice of mindfulness and self-reflection. This means being aware of our actions, our motivations, and the impact we have on others. It involves choosing temperance over excess, justice over injustice, wisdom over ignorance, and courage over fear. These choices, though often challenging in our fast-paced, achievement-oriented world, are what truly define the value of our years.

As we journey through life, let us remember that the true measure of our time is not in the length of our years but in the depth of our virtues. It is in these virtues that we find the evidence of a life not just lived, but lived well. In this way, we can ensure that when we reach the twilight of our years, we have more to show for it than just the passage of time.

Umów się na darmową lekcję próbną

Jak ci się podobała ta gra językowa? Mam nadzieję, że dobrze się bawiłeś i nauczyłeś czegoś przydatnego. Takie właśnie są lekcje ze mną. Przyjemne i praktyczne.

Umów się na darmową lekcję próbną i sam się przekonaj, dlaczego tak wiele osób mnie poleca jako nauczyciela angielskiego.

Wyśli emailZadzwoń