The Daily Stoic for November 10th, “Always The Same”.

“Think by way of example on the times of Vespasian, and you’ll see all these things: marrying, raising children, falling ill, dying, wars, holiday feasts, commerce, farming, flattering, pretending, suspecting, scheming, praying that others die, grumbling over one’s lot, falling in love, amassing fortunes, lusting after office and power. Now that life of theirs is dead and gone . . . the times of Trajan, again the same . . .”

—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 4.32

There’s this famous quote by Brian Tracy that has probably been repeated in a slighly different form over and over through centuries: “This is a wonderful time to be alive. There have never been more possibilities and opportunities for you to achieve more of your goals than exist today”.

Someone said that about the 90’s, 80’s, 70’s, 60’s and all the way back to who knows when.

Always The Same

But truth is: we are just a mere moment in time. A mere drop in the ocean. And one hundred years from now, I’ll be dead and the earth will keep on spinning. (Hopefully) there will still be people around doing the exact same things we do today: living, dying, loving, fighting, crying, laughing… Falling in love and falling ill, being happy and sad. Exactly like today.

How does that make me feel? Well, kind of scared. I mean, nobody wants to think that they will be dead in the future. We tend to elongate that moment and see it as getting more and more distant in time.

When we are young, in our 20s, death is something that’s just too far away to even think about it. As we grow older, it slowly starts becoming something more real, and we start to look away with an uneasy look instead of ignoring it with a smile.

I guess accepting that all things must pass, as we discussed yesterday, that we are not that important after all, and that life does not revolve around us, gives you peace of mind.

Honestly, I am not yet in that absolutely stoic place. But who knows? Maybe one day I will. 🙂

Conclusion

Today’s Daily Stoic, “Always The Same”, teaches us that no matter how important we think we are, or how special we think our time is, things are, in essence, always the same, with or without us.

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