Most human beings, Paulinus,* complain about the meanness of nature, because we are born for a brief span of life, and because this spell of time that has been given to us rushes by so swiftly and rapidly that with very few exceptions life ceases for the rest of us just when we are getting ready for it. Nor is it just the man in the street and the unthinking mass of people who groan over this - as they see it - universal evil: the same feeling lies behind complaints from even distinguished men. Hence the dictum of the greatest of doctors:† 'Life is short, art is long.' Hence too the grievance, most improper to a wise man, which Aristotle expressed when he was taking nature to task for indulging animals with such long existences that they can live through five or ten human lifetimes, while a far shorter limit is set for men who are born to a great and extensive destiny. It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested.
* A friend of Seneca’s.
I just got this book and let me tell you, it really puts life in perspective and shows you a lot about the outcomes of wasting it, for the price I would buy it because if you can... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Riley Riffe
The beginning and end are full of gems about living. I found the middle part to be uninteresting. But overall the insights are worth the read and price. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Buck Bowen
Please, please, just read it. I've meandered around looking for something terse and lucid that electrifies and gives hope and prescience to the future, by focusing on the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Adam Mullins
This book should be compulsory in every school. Seneca teaches how what is important in life and how to avoid wasting time; in times of social networks his thoughts are even more... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Daniele Vecchi
Great way to improve the productiveness of one's life. Reading this rearranged my priorities.Published 2 months ago by Chad