Your Temperament Is Not a Good Excuse

According to Seneca, your personal inclinations don’t determine what you’re capable of

Messy table
Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

“The active man should be able to take things easily, while the man who is inclined towards repose should be capable of action.” Seneca the Younger, in Letters from a Stoic

The Stoics, in general, were no fans of extremes.

Apparently, they were not into excuses either.

Your temperament may be that of a timid person, but it doesn’t mean you can’t speak up to a bully when necessary. You’ll have to make a greater effort though.

You may be inclined toward messiness, but you could tidy up to make someone else happy every once in a while. Sometimes, you’ll have to change your ways to some extent if you want to maintain a cordial relationship with a roommate, or even to make a marriage work.

You may be argumentative by nature, but you could let something slide every now and then to keep the peace. Again, marriage comes to mind.

There’s nothing wrong, really, with being an opinionated, quiet, talkative, messy, shy, active, or chill person.

However, “That’s just the way I am,” or “That’s how I roll, period,” is often not a good excuse for acting in certain ways or not acting at all.

When it matters, we ought to be capable of change and of making exceptions.

Day 28 of 30-day writing challenge on a single topic: Quotes from Seneca the Younger’s Letters from a Stoic.

Why this topic? Because I can’t get over how timely and brilliant Seneca’s words are -2,000 years after he wrote them.

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