Daily Touch of Inspirations

November 21st: Once is enough, once is forever

Ryan Holiday, The 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living

A good isn't increased by the addition of time, but if one is wise for even a moment, they will be no less happy than the person who exercises virtue for all time and happily passes their life in it.— Chrysippus quotted by Plutarch in Moralia: Against the Stoics on Common Conceptions, 1062 (LOEB, P.682)


Perhaps wisdom and happiness are like winning a medal in the Olympics. It doesn't matter whether you won just or in multiple events. It doesn't matter whether someone beats your time or score down the road, and it doesn't matter whether you never compete again. You'll always be a medalist, and you'll always know what it feels like. No one can take that away — and it would be impossible to feel more of that feeling.

The Juilliard-trained actor Evan Handler, who not only survived acute myeloid leukemia but also severe depression, has talked antidepressants, which he did for a deliberately brief time. He took them because he wanted to know what true, normal happiness felt like. Once he did, he knew he would stop. He could go back to struggle like everyone else. He had the ideal for a moment and that was enough.

Perhaps today will be the day when we experience happiness or wisdom. Don't try to grab that moment and hold on to it with all your might. It's not under your control how long it lasts. Enjoy it, recognize it, remember it. Having it for a moment is the same as having it forever.

 

The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom Perseverance and Art of Living

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