“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you have was once among the things you only hoped for.” – Epicurus
What is it about the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers that seems to apply so much to our lives today while those most prominent in our society disappear after their 15 minutes of fame? Those ancient dudes really had staying power. Lets dig a bit deeper and ask why.
I am not an expert or claim to have significant knowledge about the ancients but I can recognize when those who came before us had something worthwhile to say that might still relevant. Were they smarter than us? Maybe not. Afterall, they didn’t have DWTS or David Hasselhoff and took the 9 o’clock donkey to work. They did however, seem to possess a penchant for seeing beyond their years and beyond themselves and understanding what may come after they were long gone. The ancients seemed to understand some universal truths that would be relevant for generations and generations to come. They definitely had more time on their hands and did not have smart phones that kept them tethered to everyone else. They certainly did not have Justin Bieber to mock or Lance Armstrong to castigate.
I am guilty of looking toward the future and being disappointed because I want more and cannot have them yet. With that, I write this post for myself, and if you’d like to add it to your thoughts then we’ll all be better for it, I think. I shall try to live more in the present and be happier with the love from my family and friends of today. I will try to not look past the “things” in my possession, secretly (or openly) hoping for more.
My wife does not let me forget however, that we cannot always be satisfied with our present situation or we shall never strive for more or better in the future. We just cannot forget that what we have now, whether physical or emotional, are things that we did not have at some point in the past and should take the time to appreciate them more.