On The Shortness Of Life
I stumbled upon a great essay during a thesis writing break today. I’ve tried writing something similar in the past, but never found the eloquence to do the topic justice. Don’t get bogged down in the slightly stilted language you get in the Latin to English translation.
“Why do we complain of Nature? She has behaved handsomely; life, if you know how to use it, is long. One man is possessed by an insatiable avarice, another by assiduous application to trifling enterprises. One man is sodden with wine, another benumbed by sloth. One man is exhausted by an ambition which always depends on the votes of others, another is driven over every land and sea by the trader’s urge to seek profit. Some are plagued by a passion for soldiering, and are incessantly bent upon threatening others or anxious about others’ threats. Some are worn out by self-imposed and unrequited attendance upon the great; many busy themselves with the pursuit of other men’s estates or in complaints about their own. Some follow no plan consistently but are precipitated into one new scheme after another by a fickleness which is rambling and unstable and dissatisfied with itself; some have no objective at all at which to aim but are overtaken by fate as they gape and yawn. I cannot, therefore, question the truth of the great poet’s dictum, uttered with oracular impressiveness: “Slight is the portion of life we live.” All the residue is not living but passing time.”
The rest is here