The Daily Stoic for December 12th, “The Beat Goes On”.

“Walk the long gallery of the past, of empires and kingdoms succeeding each other without number. And you can also see the future, for surely it will be exactly the same, unable to deviate from the present rhythm. It’s all one whether we’ve experienced forty years or an aeon. What more is there to see?”

—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 7.49

Today, while traveling, my eyes rested upon this very old building, probably from the 15th century or earlier.

Close to it, there was this ultra-modern building with crystal walls and all of that. In comparison, the old building was almost a ruin, but it stood proud and defiant, like challenging the new shiny office to last for centuries as it has done.

The Beat Goes On

Then my mind started wandering, almost like a lucid dream. I looked at the people around me, moving frantically at the rhythm of the city. I almost could see them in fast motion, becoming blurry lines.

Years started passing by real quick, and new people were replacing those who died. Buildings grew and collapsed, and the whole scenario kept on transforming second after second.

I have had that same kind of feeling before. It’s always accompanied by a feeling of being small, of loneliness and depression. A bleak reminder of mortality, of my age, and the fact that perhaps I only have 30 years left on this earth, maybe a lot less.

But this time it was different. In a way, I thought that this rhythm was not fair, necessary, depressive, or gloomy. It was just the way it was supposed to be. All things must pass, and we are just a breeze in the ocean of eternity. Instead of depressing, this though should be a positive one. A reminder to enjoy our lives, at least a little bit, every single day.

Conclusion

Today’s Daily Stoic, “The Beat Goes On”, remembers us that our life is just a mere drop in the ocean of time. And that’s how it’s supposed to be. Empires fall, cultures flourish and disappear, and we are no different. 

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