The Daily Stoic for August 28th, “The Opulent Stoic”.
“The founder of the universe, who assigned to us the laws of life, provided that we should live well, but not in luxury. Everything needed for our well-being is right before us, whereas what luxury requires is gathered by many miseries and anxieties. Let us use this gift of nature and count it among the greatest things.”
—SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 119.15b
As you may know -if you are following my daily stoic posts- I don’t really like when the author uses Seneca to show how indifferent where stoics to wealth. Today’s stoic mentions how Seneca was called “The Opulent Stoic” and Seneca responded to these criticisms by stating that “he might have wealth, but he didn’t need it”.
Simply put: I don’t believe a word. Why?
The Opulent Stoic
It’s so easy when you are super rich to say: “Yeah, well, I don’t care about money, nobody needs it actually”. That’s just so fake. I bet he won’t affirm that if he was deprived of all his wealth and had to beg for food on the streets.
While I do agree is that we don’t need luxurious things in our lives to be happy. Since I got rid of most of my stuff, I feel happier. I don’t know how to explain it but having a lot of stuff clutters not only the physical space of your apartment, attic, and garage. It also clutters your mind. When all you have fits in a suitcase and your laptop bag, two things happen:
First, you have less stuff to worry about. Less broken things you need to fix. Fewer things you bought and no longer use but feel obliged to. Less things to upgrade when the new shiny version is released…
Secondly, you start using your time to live experiences instead of using things. Sure, the theory is that your PS4 console is great for playing with friends… but most probably you’ll end up playing alone at home. Of course, not necessarily all things isolate you from the outside world, some of them actually take you out there… But generally speaking, the less you have, the more you spend your time with others.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “The Opulent Stoic”, talks about how we can’t live a perfectly happy life without luxurious things. I completely agree. For me, decluttering my life and getting rid of most of my stuff was one of the best decisions I ever made.