“I do not maintain that the body is not to be indulged at all; but I maintain that we must not be slaves to it.” – Seneca
We’re human. We have wants and we have needs. We need to eat, we want to be eating things that we enjoy. We have to sleep, we want to be sleeping somewhere comfortable.
We don’t require to have what we want in order to meet our needs, if we are tired enough, we can sleep anywhere. If we are hungry enough even foods we do not like will become palatable to us.
And while there are times that we should deprive ourselves of our wants even while meeting our needs, we should eat bland food, sleep in uncomfortable conditions, and put ourselves through a little discomfort once in awhile if for no other reason than to appreciate the fact we don’t have to endure these things, while we should do all of that from time to time, those things don’t necessarily make us better.
It is our attitude and our approach to the things we want that make us better. It is our ability to see that the things that we want are not the things that we need even if they are closely related.
It is our understanding that we should be grateful for having the things we want in this life. It is our ability to view them as luxuries. Enjoyable for certain but not necessary. They are not even necessary to have good lives.
And that is the only thing we should be working on.
virtus fortis vocat