August 16

“Just as it is a sign of luxury to seek out fancy things, so it is madness to avoid that which is customary and can be had at no great expense.” – Seneca

One of the first things we learn – or rather rediscover – when we start out on the path of making ourselves into the best versions of ourselves we can within a lifetime is that an important part of that is killing the little voice in our head that tells us to go after the same prizes that we are socialized to go after.

There is nothing inherently wrong with nice things but the pursuit of being a person with nice things inherently takes away from the pursuit of being a nice person. The best version of ourselves is a nicer person than we currently are. So it stands to reason that focusing on the pursuit of being a person with nice things is at direct odds with our actual goals.

But this is not a pendulum and an idea can be taken too far. Just because the pursuit of being a person with nice things gets in the way of being a nice person does not mean that if nice things happen to come our way we should resist them. And it definitely doesn’t mean we should resist the commonplace things that help us in the society we live in.

We should never go too far, in any direction.

virtus fortis vocat

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