martes, noviembre 30, 2010

gringo says: 'First Things First'.

Can anything be more idiotic than certain people who boats of their foresight? They keep themselves officiously preoccupied in order to improve their lives; they spend their lives in organizing their lives. They direct their purposes with an eye to a distant future. But putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present  by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune's control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediatlely. Listen to the cry of our greatest poet, who as though inspired with divine utterance sings salutary verses:

Life's finest day for wretched mortals here 

Is always first to flee.

'Why do you linger?' he means. 'Why are you idle? If you don't grasp it first, it flees'. And even if you do grasp it, it will still flee. So you must match time's swiftness with your speed in using it, and you must drink quickly as though from rapid stream that will not always flow. In chastising endless delay, too, the poet very elegantly speaks not of the 'finest age' but 'finest day'.

[p.13] Seneca 'On the Shortness of  Life'. Penguin Books.

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