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Lucius Annaeus Seneca, known simply as Seneca (or Seneca the Younger), was a stoic philosopher and rhetorician. He’s one of the first stoics for which there are considerable literary remains for us to study.
Born over 2,000 years ago in Spain as the son of Seneca the Elder, Seneca had a mixed reputation.
On one hand, we have his writings, which were both practical and timeless. Using a search for wisdom to navigate the inevitable ups and downs of life, he could be considered a practical philosopher. His thoughts influenced historical figures such as Pascal, Francis Bacon, and Montaigne, and continue to resonate with people today. Nassim Taleb went so far as to write an entire chapter on Seneca in his book AntiFragile.
“We are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not Ill-supplied but wasteful of it.”— Seneca
“Time discovers truth.” — Seneca
“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.” — Seneca
“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.” — Seneca
“We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.” — Seneca
“A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.” — Seneca
“All cruelty springs from weakness.” — Seneca
“As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.” — Seneca
“If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable.” — Seneca
“He suffers more than necessary, who suffers before it is necessary.” — Seneca
“Timendi causa est nescire — Ignorance is the cause of fear.” — Seneca
“It does not matter what you bear, but how you bear it.” — Seneca
“The man who has anticipated the coming of troubles takes away their power when they arrive.” — Seneca
“The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.” — Seneca