Letters from a Stoic 12– Key Takeaways

              In letters from a stoic 12, Seneca talks about old age and how he recognizes it each and every day. He, nevertheless, fully embrace it. “Fruits are most welcome when almost over; youth is most charming at its close; the last drink delights the toper, the glass which souses him and puts the finishing touch on his drunkenness. “The Stoics have always stressed the importance of the full acceptance of life and fate to live a good life. “He also cites some advantages of reaching this point of life. One is the decrease in pleasure in things. “Our not wanting pleasures has taken the place of the pleasures themselves. How comforting it is to have tired out one’s appetites, and to have done with them! “The Stoics believe one of the reasons for our suffering is our pleasures especially when they become addictions and take control of our lives.

               The next part of the letter is an interesting one. The Stoics have always said that we only have a brief moment to live and that death is always at our elbow. In this letter, Seneca said we only have one day to live. If we wake up the next day alive, it should be treated as a bonus – an extra life. He narrated a man called Pacuvius that would carry out a burial celebration of himself at the end of the day and would utter the word “He has lived his life, he has lived his life!” Obviously, we don’t have to do this but if we could find a thing/routine/exercise to remind ourselves about the shortness of our lives, we could treasure more of each day that has passed by. We have so much to learn about valuing life from the Stoics.

*****   Letters from a Stoic Key Takeaways is a collection of short key takeaways from the letters sent by Seneca to Lucilius. Read each letter’s key takeways here .

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