The Daily Stoic for December 14th, “What We Should Know By The End”.
“Soon you will die, and still you aren’t sincere, undisturbed, or free from suspicion that external things can harm you, nor are you gracious to all, knowing that wisdom and acting justly are one and the same.”—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 4.37
There’s this famous cliché of the old, dying man, on his deathbed, repenting of things he did during his lifetime… when it’s too late to do something about it, except for that small but significant last act.
What We Should Know By The End
We all make mistakes. Some of them are small, some of them are big. One hurtful word we said, one important event we missed, one act we did out of pure frustration… I’m not talking here about choices we make that turn out bad while our intentions were sincere. I’m talking about bad rational, deliberate choices.
Then, there’s this eternal struggle between the push for doing the right think, confessing and/or apologizing for what we did, and the fear of the consequences. What if this person does not forgive me? What if she does not understand? Why if I do more harm than good?
I can count mine with the fingers of one hand, but I think one is enough for most of us. So what do we do? Is it worth it after years? Or is it enough living rightfully from now on? Will a promise of good future behavior serve to banish our ghosts?
And if so… for how long?
Today’s Daily Stoic, “What We Should Know By The End”, discusses how we should act rightfully and avoid having a pile of things to repent on our deathbeds. But what should we do with what’s already been done. Can we undone the past? Is it the right thing to do?