The Daily Stoic for December 1st, “Pretend Today Is The End”.
“Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day. . . . The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time.”—SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 101.7b–8a
Wow, what a title for today’s stoic meditation. We are inaugurating the last section of the Daily Stoic, “Meditation on mortality”, so I guess we are getting to a final climax this month.
It’s been 11 months already, and a lot has been going on in my life. To be completely honest, I am looking forward for the daily stoic to end, because I think it will take me some time, after I finish writing all these meditations, for them to really kick in.
Pretend Today Is The End
Anyway, today’s topic is the always cliché “carpe diem“, living each day as if it was our last. Obviously, nobody can really do that. And it won’t be good for us personally, and for mankind at large. We’ll all be spending our lives in an endless orgy until we die of starvation or some illness. 🙂
But jokes aside, while we cannot live each day as if it was the last, we can live each day as if it could be the last. The difference is important in my mind. While I still have to work today -because it may not be the last- what would I do if I had the suspicion that I might not see another dawn?
Probably I will tell my loved ones everything. Everything I was keeping for later. Everything I was saving for a better occasion, or anything I was shy or embarrassed to mention. I won’t leave half conversations behind. I won’t waste time on things that are not important, such as fighting, or complaining, or discussing.
I will do something that day to feel good. Perhaps going for a walk. Something small -no need to look for that orgy- but something that made me feel alive. I will make sure that when I go to bed, if I feel there’s something wrong, I will meditate until I find out what it is…
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Pretend Today Is The End”, starts the last month of the daily stoic with a meditation about mortality, concretely, the carpe diem myth. What’s your stance on the topic? Let us know in the comments.