On the Shortness of Life
So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it.
Living is the least important activity of the preoccupied man; yet there is nothing which is harder to learn.
The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today.
It cannot be disturbed or snatched from us: it is an untroubled, everlasting possession.
You are winning affection in a job in which it is hard to avoid ill-will; but believe me it is better to understand the balance-sheet of one’s own life than of the corn trade.
Being without your country is not misery: you have thoroughly taught yourself by your studies to know that to a wise man every place is his country.
It is the mind that creates our wealth, and this goes with us into exile, and in the harshest desert places it finds sufficient to nourish the body and revels in the enjoyment of its own goods.
So if you must fill your time, write something in a simple style for your own use and not for publication: less toil is needed if you study only for the day.
We are weak in enduring anything, and cannot put up with toil or pleasure or ourselves or anything for long.
This evil of taking our cue from others has become so deeply ingrained that even that most basic feeling, grief, degenerates into imitation.