Dear Lucius Annaeus Seneca,
I’ve read your compilation of letters known as Letters from a Stoic.
Over the past nine days, I’ve shared a new quote from it with friends and acquaintances. I’ve reflected on each one, always wondering what you’d think of my interpretations.
From the little I’ve read about your life, I believe you’ll be pleased your ideas have taken hold over the many generations after you died.
You were criticized plenty while alive, and even more so when your residency on this world ended. One of the criticisms of you Letters is that one could quote every other sentence and that the content is repetitive.
In my opinion, Mr. Lucius Seneca, this is one of the reasons people keep reading them. Humans need convincing, repetition, as well as words, statement and stories that resonate with them.
For this reason, and in imitation of your style, I will copy this letter and forward it to my community of readers. I’ll include, at the end of it, the themes and quotes I’ve reflected on up to this point — so that readers can revisit them by clicking on each theme.
I shall do the same when I reach the 20th and 30th day of my 30-day commitment to you, my mentor.
Thank you for your teachings,
“You will die not because you are sick but because you are alive. That end still awaits you when you have been cured.”
“It is a great man that can treat his earthenware as if it was silver, and a man who treats his silver as if it was earthenware is no less great.”
“Vices are manifold, take countless different forms and are incapable of classification. Devotion to what is right is simple, devotion to what is wrong is complex and admits of infinite variations.”
“As it is with a play, so it is with life — what matters is not how long the acting lasts, but how good it is.”
“So long as you associate with a person who’s mean and grasping you will remain a money-minded individual yourself. So long as you keep arrogant company, just so long will conceit stick to you. Cruelty you’ll never say goodbye to while you share the same roof with a torturer. If you wish to be stripped of your vices you must get right away from the examples others set of them.”
“To be feared is to fear: no one has been able to strike terror into others and at the same time enjoy peace of mind himself.”
“Praise in him what can neither be given nor snatched away.”
“Our fears are always more numerous than our dangers.”
“After friendship is formed you must trust, but before that you must judge.”