The Daily Stoic for August 26th, “Seeking Out Shipwrecks”.

“I was shipwrecked before I even boarded . . . the journey showed me this—how much of what we have is unnecessary, and how easily we can decide to rid ourselves of these things whenever it’s necessary, never suffering the loss.”
—SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 87.1

Can the most unfortunate of events turn out to be for the best? I was kind of skeptic about that, but not anymore.

Things can will eventually go wrong. We may lose our jobs, our relationships may break, our life can completely change. But as long as we are still alive, we can work things out, change jobs, or start our life completely anew.

Seeking Out Shipwrecks

Some minutes ago, I learned that one of my uncles just passed away. He had cancer, one frequent uninvited guest in my family. Concretely, he died of lung cancer. Now that was no surprise for me. All my memories together, when I was a child, include him surrounded by a thick curtain of smoke. He, his wife (my aunt), and my mother were always smoking when I was a child. All of them have developed cancer years later.

That made me realize that sometimes we put too much drama on things that just don’t deserve them. Our jobs may change overnight. Our friends, the people we share our lives with, the apartment we live in, all that can change without prior notice. Of course, all those things are part of who we are at that very moment. Only that doesn’t mean they are all we are. Ultimately, we can always start over.

So I ultimately have to agree with today’s stoic meditation. We should enjoy every little moment we spend with the people we love. And if the wrong happens… Well, if we are still alive, we just move on and continue with our lives. Differently, perhaps, but it will still be our life.

Conclusion

Today’s Daily Stoic, “Seeking Out Shipwrecks”, came to me after learning that one of my uncles just passed away. It made me realize that whatever happens, it all reduces to a question: are you alive? Great! So what are you going to do next? It’s time to move on!

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