2000 Year Old Wisdom from Seneca

Roman Philosopher Seneca Says to his friend Paulinus –

We are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it. Just as when ample and princely wealth falls to a bad owner it is squandered in a moment, but wealth however modest, if entrusted to a good custodian, increases with use, so our lifetime extends amply if you manage it properly.


One man is gripped by insatiable greed, another by a laborious dedication to useless tasks. One man is soaked in wine, another sluggish with idleness. One man is worn out by political ambition, which is always at the mercy of the judgement of others. Another through hope of profit is driven headlong over all lands and seas by the greed of trading. Some are tormented by a passion for army life, always intent on inflicting dangers on others or anxious about danger to themselves. Some are worn out by the self-imposed servitude of thankless attendance on the great. Many are occupied by either pursuing other people’s money or complaining about their own. Many pursue no fixed goal, but are tossed about in ever-changing designs by a fickleness which is shifting, inconstant and never satisfied with itself. Some have no aims at all for their life’s course, but death takes them unawares as they yawn languidly – so much so that I cannot doubt the truth of that oracular remark of the greatest of poets: ‘It is a small part of life we really live.’ Indeed, all the rest is not life but merely time.


About Seneca

ensaio-sebastiana-e-francisco-jan-13
Seneca’s life spanned one of the most colourful and important periods of Rome’s history. He was born in 4 BC, and he committed suicide in AD 65 because of his alleged association with the ill-fated conspiracy of Piso against King Nero. Thus he lived under the first five emperors of the Roman Empire, and those varied and turbulent times both deeply affected the course of his life and the content of his writings. He is a distinguished example of a major literary figure who also played a leading part for many years in the public life of his country.
One of the interesting aspects of Seneca is to observe deeply and that is why I’m sharing this 2000 year old wisdom, I feel it is still relevant.
– Siddharth
(Excerpts From: Seneca. Dialogues and Letters  and On the Shortness of Life were used in this Article)
Siddharth Tripathi (SidTree)
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