“Riches, comfort, safety, and long life. These things ought to be despised, not that we should not possess them, but we should not possess them with fear and trembling: we do not drive them away from us but when they leave us we follow after them unconcerned.” – Seneca
It is nice to have nice things, it is nice to be in good health, it is nice to have a lifestyle that allows us to stop and enjoy quiet moments without worrying that we are going to be injured or worse.
But those things are not our lives. Our lives would still be ours to live and to control the things we control and to learn to remain unaffected by the things we can not control even if we lose our wealth, our health, and our relative safety. In fact, in that situation learning to control what we can and to remain unaffected by the things we can not becomes even more important.
When we have a fear of losing these things, when we fear sudden poverty, when we fear loss of health, when we act in a way that makes us feel like we are somehow preventing these things – things which we have no control over – from occurring, we have lost our freedom. We are allowing ourselves to be trapped by focusing on things outside of our own control.
Let’s not be afraid. Let’s focus on the things within our control and let’s continue to move forward. Regardless of our situation and regardless of how much time we have left.
virtus fortis vocat