A nice quote from Epictetus and if you are like me you wish this would be read and understood by the continuous talkers we all know and love. Why would silence be the preferred default state of being? Being silent allows you to be a better listener, and thus learn more. Being silent allows others to express themselves, which is a show of respect. The second part of the quote advises that if we need to talk to say what is necessary and in as few words as possible.
I often see in business just the opposite, people who talk and talk, sometime, is just filling in spaces of time, endless babble if you will. In fact this is often encouraged so that we have something to say at a meeting, instead of ending it earlier, we feel compelled to rant on about often meaningless stuff. Corporate America could gain much from studying the stoics, but don’t hold your breath, the endless babbling will continue.
Use this quote as advice for yourself or maybe for a friend. Forget about the babbling fools, they will not change, it is not in their DNA. Philosophy is not for fools, they have no need for it, nor will they ever understand it.
I love this quote by Marcus Aurelius especially during this trying time, where we are re-discovering just how valuable each day is. We tend to live our life like time is infinite, when logically we know this is not true, but our actions tend to lead us toward filling time versus valuing it. His analogy of throwing open the windows of your soul to the sun, means your days are numbered and you must express yourself, be yourself, and stop all the bullshit and value your time on this earth. The second part of this quote reminds you that our time is limited and wasting our life on trivial shit, becomes a life that is wasted.
The stoics did a good job reminding us we are all mortal. In fact we die a little bit everyday, getting a little closer to our demise. You may live another 10, 20, 30, or 40 years or more, but you may also die tomorrow. I know all this sounds morbid, but understanding how fragile we all are has a great potential for helping us realize how valuable each moment is. Yes, you will die, but if you are reading this you are not dead yet.
Rejoice, do something important today, show someone you love them, and don’t waste your time.