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.
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 12 days 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 13 days 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 18 days ago by Daniele Vecchi
Great way to improve the productiveness of one's life. Reading this rearranged my priorities.Published 26 days ago by Chad
Item came as advertised... Brand new... No bends, no marks, and in within the time promised...Published 1 month ago by Leonardo Fernandez
An amazing book. Came fast and in perfect condition. I must say though, while this book is amazing, the first half taught me a lot more than the second.Published 1 month ago by Mikal Richards
I think Seneca was pissed and annoyed with a lot of people when he wrote this. They probably asked for his time and he decided to rant about the way they spend theirs. Read morePublished 1 month ago by crazypuce