Note to My Readers: from mid-June to mid-August (6/18 - 8/20), I will be taking a summer break from posting new articles for my Thursday and Friday slots. This will only affect my Thursday series on the global growth of Christianity, and my Friday series, the "Theological Bestiary" of birds, both of which will resume in late August. During the summer, I'll be dusting off some of my best essays from the first few years of this blog (a decade ago), as well as my verse play "Thus Ends the World," and re-posting them in the Thursday and Friday slots. All other weekdays will continue to feature new material throughout the summer.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Quote of the Week: Seneca

"If you really want to escape the things that harass you, what you're needing is not to be in a different place, but to be a different person."

- Lucius Annaeus Seneca, 1st century AD, Roman statesman and Stoic philosopher

To put the quote in context, this is Seneca's advice to a young man who was wanting to escape his frustrations by getting away for a vacation. He points out that most of our frustrations don't have as much to do with external circumstances as they do with our own inability to manage our emotions. This is true for most of us--what we need most is not a break from ordinary life; rather, we need to learn the virtue with which to thrive in ordinary life.

(Photo: Bust of Seneca in the Berlin Antiquities Collection. Photo by Calidius; shared on the Wikimedia Commons)

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