The Daily Stoic for December 7th, “The Cards We’re Dealt”.
“Think of the life you have lived until now as over and, as a dead man, see what’s left as a bonus and live it according to Nature. Love the hand that fate deals you and play it as your own, for what could be more fitting?”—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 7.56–57
We all feel an irrational fear when thinking about our death. It’s not something you think about a lot when you are 20-something, because you feel immortal then. It’s something that starts slipping through as you get older.
The Cards We’re Dealt
Thinking about death is usually considered depressive or pessimistic. We live in the era of Instagram after all. We want just pretty, beautiful pictures of teenagers in perfect scenarios. Youth, Beauty, and Perfection. There’s usually no place here for dark thoughts, age or ugliness. Death is depressing. Stop thinking about it, you are depressing me.
However, it doesn’t need to be that way. Today’s stoic meditation affirms that it can be invigorating, and give us clarity. While I’m not yet in that positive point in my life, I can’t help but remember Steve Jobs’ words about that:
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”
And it’s true that, when you are faced to certain things, you realize what’s important. Not having the best car, or the most luxurious house, or what do others think about you, or how of ten you can go out for dinner at a fancy restaurant.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “The Cards We’re Dealt”, discusses death, and its power as a force to make us realize what’s important and what’s not in our lives.