To Live and To Die

Another beautiful Stoic line from All The Pretty Horses:

“I ain’t afraid to die.”
“That is good. It will help you to die. It will not help you to live.”

Let us not mistake the Stoic’s scorn for fear and mortality with recklessness or a death wish. The Stoic wants to live and wants to live well. How hard did James Stockdale fight to survive? How many times could Epictetus have laid down and relinquished his will to live as a slave? For how long did Marcus Aurelius persevere through illness and bad health to continue on in his duties?

Life is wonderful, poetic, beautiful. A gift in every sense of the word. It would be rude to take this gift for granted or to spurn it. And it is this understanding and gratitude that should compel us to live every second of it that we have. Starting right now.

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