In this tenth letter, Seneca reiterated what he asked Lucilius in the seventh letter which is to avoid the crowd. A mass of people whose ideals and principles are different than ours may easily corrupt our characters. With no reliable person he could trust to guide Lucilius, he asked him to trust and live by himself. “I do not know any person with whom I should prefer you to associate rather than yourself.” It just goes to show how he really cared for the young man. While living on solitude and seeing Lucilius’ progress on improving his soul, Seneca wants Lucilius to not let go of his guard because he might still go off track with his character living by himself. He narrated a story of Crates telling a young man, in his own company, stating “Pray be careful, then, and take good heed; you are communing with a bad man!” The message is simply that we have to continually check our thoughts and behavior. Away from, the crowd we are still prone to corrupting ourselves.
Subscribe To Our Newsletter
FREE weekly practical tips, reflections and key takeaways from the works of the stoics