The Daily Stoic for December 23rd, “What Are You So Afraid Of Losing?”.

“You are afraid of dying. But, come now, how is this life of yours anything but death?”

—SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 77.18

I am not sure what to think of today’s stoic meditation. Let me quote here the most relevant part:

“Most of us are afraid of dying. But sometimes this fear begs the question: To protect what exactly? For a lot of people the answer is: hours of television, gossiping, gorging, wasting potential, reporting to a boring job, and on and on and on. Except, in the strictest sense, is this actually a life?”

What Are You So Afraid Of Losing?

Well, maybe I think my life is better than the lives of others, or more relevant, or more important. But I certainly don’t watch TV (I don’t even have a TV set), don’t have a boring job (luckily I quit) and don’t enjoy gossiping.

So do I think my life is better than anything else? Absolutely not. And that’s my gripe with today’s stoic.

I guess if asked, that “boring” person wasting his or her life watching television, gossiping and going to a boring job every single day, will still consider his or her life valuable, relevant and certainly important. We all do. It’s the only thing we’ve got, and no life is more “relevant” or “important” than another, at least in my mind, because of what you do.

But humbly talking about just mine… Am I afraid of dying? Well, I think so. I still haven’t figured out how to look to death face to face and say “Hello” with a firm voice. I still think I’ve got a lot to live, a lot to experience and a lot to share.

But talking about this the other day with a friend, I played the devil’s advocate and defended that life means the end, yes, but also the end of suffering, of doubt, of pain, of illness, of sadness… It’s the end of everything, positive or negative. And it’s true that when the time comes, I won’t actually give a fuck about it… I’ll be dead, after all. 🙂

Conclusion

Today’s Daily Stoic, “What Are You So Afraid Of Losing?”, discusses how sometimes we grip tightly to life, sometimes harder than we should. And that attachment is the root of all fear of death.

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