The Daily Stoic for February 19th. “The banquet of life”:
“Remember to conduct yourself in life as if at a banquet. As something being passed around comes to you, reach out your hand and take a moderate helping. Does it pass you by? Don’t stop it. It hasn’t yet come? Don’t burn in desire for it, but wait until it arrives in front of you. Act this way with children, a spouse, toward position, with wealth—one day it will make you worthy of a banquet with the gods.”
—EPICTETUS, ENCHIRIDION, 15
While yesterday’s stoic compared our passions and emotions to a storm, today’s one invite us to apply this metaphore of a banquet for our lives.
I think it’s pretty interesting. Let’s play that game.
If Life Is A Banquet, There Are One Thousand Diners
So if life’s a banquet, not everybody eats the same food.
There are people that have the most delicate dishes at their disposal. The most exotic fruits, the incredible desserts, the contemporary cuisine specialties.
Conversely, there are people who have opted for the fast-food buffet. Burguers, chicken buckets and Coke. Not the best for their health, but they just want that. The more the better.
Some people are just happy having a frugal meal, nothing pretentious.
There are people at the banquet that don’t eat meat. Some of them for true principles, some of them for the sake of appearances.
Last, there’s sadly a group of anorexic people that just want to hungrily devour everything, not sharing their food with others, before puking at the lavatory.
Enjoying The Banquet Of Life
It doesn’t matter what section of the banquet you’ve been invited to. The most important thing is actually choosing the more healthy food for you, and enjoying it.
Actually, enjoying it means focusing on it while you are eating, savoring it. Mindful eating advocates suggests us to chew our food multiple times before swallowing. Mindfulness proposes the same approach, being conscious of every bite, as each one of them is different.
And above all, enjoy the banquet of life, every single bite.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “the banquet of life”, uses the metaphore of a banquet to refer to life and how we manage our emotions. I wanted to take that comparison to the extreme and refer to life in general as a banquet.
In this post, I talk precisely about the diners and the courses, the different sections of the banquet, and how, overall, we must enjoy every bite of food.