“The grave and wise man should not beat a hasty retreat from life; he should make a becoming exit. And above all, he should avoid the weakness which has taken possession of so many, the lust for death.” – Seneca
When we start on a path that uses Stoic philosophy as the guiding principle, one of the first things we start to see differently is our own death. We start to recognize that -just like our birth – our death is largely outside our control and as a result, we can stop spending energy thinking about it.
A dangerous and simplistic way to look at this change in perspective is to see death as something we should embrace and look forward to. Something we should view with such indifference that we actually invite it into our lives.
But that view wouldn’t be us viewing it as something we have no control over. Because in truth, we could have control over our own deaths if we chose to. We could end this life anytime we wanted to. And in some cases, that might be the best option, but a case like that would be the extreme exception.
For most of us, the path continues not in spite of but because of the discomforts, the struggles and the hardships. They are making us into something, making us into someone. And bowing out before the path ends isn’t an option we should ever consider taking. Instead we should strive to be someone remembered for pressing on in the face of our adversity. Someone who continues on the path.
virtus fortis vocat