Stoic Lesson: Meditating On Death and Life

An ordinary journey will be incomplete if you come to a stop in the middle of it, or anywhere short of your destination, but life is never incomplete if it is an honorable one. At whatever point you leave life, if you leave it in the right way, it is whole.” (Seneca, LXXVII)

What would be an honorable life?

One that is not wasted. A life where each day is used to its maximum. Where nothing that can be done right now, at this moment, is left for tomorrow. A life where you show love and appreciation for others. Gratitude towards your loved ones who have helped make your life a little easier. A life where you help others, ease their burden, aid their pain and suffering, improve someone else’s life. A life that is full of action which is directed towards a meaningful outcome. Achieving the outcome is secondary, the effort is primary. A life that can be viewed as an example, whether it be an example of what man can accomplish or if it’s an example of what man can endure or how to balance the complexities of life or how simple life can be. A life that brings joy to others. A life that is full of attempts, failure, and attempts again.

All of these seem to me as honorable aims.

What matters is not how long the acting lasts, but how good it is. It is not important at what point you stop. Stop whenever you will — only make sure that you round it off with a good ending. (Seneca, LXXVII)

Whats a good ending?

When those who love and care for you know that you love and care for them. Your emotions and feelings are relayed to them so clearly that when the end comes there is never a doubt. A good end is also knowing when it’s enough, knowing what is enough for you. There isn’t a maddening attempt to hold on to the past and you’re able to step away from the “limelight” and allow another to take an attempt. There is no honor nor is it good to try and cling on to the glory days. A good ending would be one where you have acted in such a manner that your actions can relay to others what your character was about, what you were about, who you were. There is no need for explanation. Lastly, acceptance of the trials and tribulations, the ups and downs and the finality at the end.

All of these seem like a good ending.

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