Seneca's Letters

Letters No. 10 and 11

This post continues my experiment of applying ancient wisdom to the present day experience of people facing divorce in Minnesota.

The wisdom comes from Seneca (an old Roman dude) who wrote a series of letters to his friend, Lucilius. Whether Seneca actually sent the letters, or just compiled them as a book, doesn't matter to me because I've found his advice as sound today as when he wrote it in 65 A.D.

All the letters can be downloaded (for free) courtesy of Tim Ferriss. Click (here) for his website. He's got a bunch of other amazing stuff there too. I highly recommend his book, Tools of Titans, which is worth the cost.

There is no post for Letter No. 10. It's another bust. If you're interested in learning about keeping to yourself (which is the topic of the letter), then you should read it yourself sitting alone.

Today's letter is No. 11. It's titled On the Blush of Modesty.

Seneca teeters on crapping out again with this letter, droning on for nearly two pages about how blushing (yes, he's referring to the kind that involves reddening of the face) isn't something a person can fake. Okay, thanks for the tip.

But, three paragraphs from the end, he pulls it together giving us something worthy of pondering.

He tells Lucilius to, "Cherish some man of high character, and keep him ever before your eyes, living as if he were watching you, and ordering all your actions as if he beheld them."

In other words, he's urging Lucilius to pretend that someone he respects is sitting on his shoulder (like a small angel) watching his every move. Doing so, Seneca claims, will eliminate most sins and keep him from going wrong. He ends by saying, "For we must indeed have someone according to whom we may regulate our characters; you can never straighten that which is crooked unless you use a ruler."

How does this apply to people getting divorced in 2018?

Wouldn't everyone benefit from behaving better? I know I would.

Seneca's advice reminds me of something a law school professor once told me. On the first day of class, as we sat afraid in a large auditorium, she told us that when we were lawyers we would make mistakes. And some of those mistakes would hurt people.

But she said we'd be okay, as long as before we acted, we imagined our grandmother reading an article about us on front page of the New York Times. If the story sounded okay, we could act. If not, we ought to rethink what we were doing.

I've tried to use this approach when I weigh a settlement or file a motion or write a letter or send an email. If I'm not ashamed of what my grandmother might think, then I'm probably on the right path.

Divorce is an easy area to let emotions get the better of you.

In a moment of bad judgment, one of my favorite clients changed the caller-id on his home phone to read an expletive every time his spouse called home. The kids saw it. The judge heard about it. Not good.

But he wasn't a bad man. Far from it, actually. He was a great guy who felt powerless and angry about his situation. Maybe if he had imagined a mentor sitting on his shoulder he might not have acted.

I don't pretend to have the answers for you. I can't imagine how difficult your situation must be right now.

All I can say is that the people I respect most are those who are cool under pressure. People who remain optimistic in dark times, and people who seem to transcend trivial problems. These are the people I want to emulate.

Stay strong,

 
2017.01.11 -- Rob Signature.jpg
 

 

 

Letters No. 8 and 9

This post continues my experiment of applying ancient wisdom to the present day experience of people facing divorce in Minnesota.

The wisdom comes from Seneca (an old Roman dude) who wrote a series of letters to his friend, Lucilius. Whether Seneca actually sent the letters, or just compiled them as a book, doesn't matter to me because I've found his advice as sound today as when he wrote it in 65 A.D.

All the letters can be downloaded (for free) courtesy of Tim Ferriss. Click (here) for his website. He's got lots of other amazing stuff there too. I highly recommend his book, Tools of Titans, which is worth the cost.

There is no post for Letter No. 8. To be blunt, it's worthless. The focus is on whether philosophers should seclude themselves. If you must know the answer, you'll need to read it yourself. Although, you probably could guess it.

Today's letter is No. 9. It's titled On Philosophy and Friendship.

The letter starts with Seneca answering a concern Lucilius expressed about whether wise men who are self-sufficient need friends. Apparently, one of Seneca's critics is hammering him on the topic, saying Seneca's theories make friends pointless.

Seneca responds by telling Lucilius that the critic doesn't understand what it means to be a self-sufficient person. He explains that a self-sufficient person is one who "feels his troubles, but overcomes them." A wise man is "in want of nothing, and yet needs many things."

At first, I found this hard to understand. But then Seneca explains that a "want" implies something is needed and that a wise man needs nothing beyond that which he already possesses.

Although it is normal for a wise man to "crave" friendships, he doesn't need them. This is important because it allows a self-sufficient person to form the right type of friendships (ones where he can focus on helping others) while still remaining intact if the friendship dissolves.

Seneca ends the letter by reinforcing that being self-sufficient means being happy with oneself, regardless of what happens in the outside world. He quotes another philosopher as saying: “Whoever does not regard what he has as most ample wealth, is unhappy, though he be master of the whole world.”

How does this apply to a Minnesota divorce in 2018?

To me, it means that all of us need to find a way to be happy (and content) with who and where we are in life.

We can't let our happiness depend on our spouse's opinions or behaviors. We shouldn't let it depend on the behavior of bosses or friends either.

Like Seneca says, we should have friends, but not need them to make ourselves whole. Friends are people we want to help. To serve. Not the other way around.

The idea of self-sufficiency runs through a lot of Seneca's letters. It sounds simple, but I don't think I've ever seen it in real life. Certainly not from me. I'm hardly ever comfortable in my own skin.

Can you imagine how powerful a person would be if they were self-sufficient?

Life could bounce them up and down like a ping pong ball, yet not touch who they were inside. They could be rich or poor, healthy or sick, married or divorced, and still they would be enough for themselves.

I don't believe such a person would approach divorce in a caviar way. My guess is they'd be saddened by the loss of family, friends, and relationship. But it wouldn't rock them. Not to the core.

They'd pick up, carry on, determined to make new friends and help other people. Because they know that there is nothing anyone can take from them that they really need.

Stay strong,

Rob

 

 

 

Letter No. 7 -- Avoiding People

This post continues my experiment of applying ancient wisdom to the present day experience of people facing divorce in Minnesota.

The wisdom comes from Seneca (an old Roman dude) who wrote a series of letters to his friend, Lucilius. Whether Seneca actually sent the letters, or just compiled them as a book, doesn't matter to me because I've found his advice as sound today as when he wrote it in 65 A.D.

All the letters can be downloaded (for free) courtesy of Tim Ferriss. Click (here) for his website. He's got lots of other amazing stuff there too. I highly recommend his book, Tools of Titans, which is worth the cost.

Today's letter is No. 7. It's titled On Crowds.

In it, Seneca tells Lucilius that he must avoid crowds because no one ever returns home the same person. Others will change you, he says. Even a single exposure can disrupt one's mind.

For example, eating with a rich person will make you jealous. Drinking with a slanderous one will loosen your tongue, and lounging with a lazy friend robs you of spirit.

Crowds force you to either "imitate or loathe the world," neither of which is right. Instead, Seneca urges Lucilius to, "Associate with those who will make a better man of you."

He ends by offering Lucilius this bit of advice: "Many men praise you but have you any reason for being pleased with yourself, if you are a person whom the many can understand? Your good qualities should face inwards."

How does this apply to a Minnesota Divorce in 2018?

Seneca's advice reminds me of what my mother used to say about a boy in my grade. The boy's parents were extremely rich. I envied his ability to watch rated R movies and to grab a soda at will from a special refrigerator in his garage.

My mother worried that the boy was a bad influence. I couldn't see how that possible. But now, as an adult, I understand what she meant.

How many of the people you associate with bring you down? How many make you a better person?

Much of the "helpful" advice I hear offered to divorcing couples isn't helpful to them at all. How does a co-worker announcing, "It didn't happen that way in my case" or "You need to fight that bastard" make things better for you?

It doesn't.

A wise therapist once told me that the fastest way to feel better is to stop talking about your problems all the time.

I think Seneca was right. We should be very careful about whom we associate with because we end-up being twins.

Stay strong,

 
2017.01.11 -- Rob Signature.jpg
 

Letter No. 6 -- Sharing Knowledge

Today's letter from Seneca keeps us focused on ideas that at first seem hard to analogize to a 2018 Minnesota divorce.

For the most part, Seneca talks about himself, explaining that he too is applying the principles with great success. However, he says his joy would be diminished if he ever found out that Lucilius wasn't benefiting from his advice.

I'm sure he would be. It'd mean he spent his time spitting into the wind.

It's not until the last paragraph of his letter that Seneca actually gets around to offering his daily bit of wisdom. He says: "I have begun to be a friend to myself. That was indeed a great benefit; such a person can never be alone."

How does this apply to a 2018 Minnesota Divorce?

Seneca's wisdom about being a friend to oneself got me thinking about the issue of negative self-talk. How many of us talk to ourselves in ways we would never allow another person to do?

I know the words I use: You're a failure. No one is worrying like you. Why are you so screwed-up?

If anyone on the street badgered me this way, I'd punch them in the nose. But for some reason, I don't have a problem saying it to myself.

Or maybe I do. Perhaps it's the reason I get depressed sometimes, feel down.

Can you blame me?

If I harassed a colleague that way they'd write a front page story about me in the newspaper.

With that in mind, being a friend to oneself does sound like a "great benefit."

Imagine what would happen if the professionals in the divorce machine were truly friends to themselves? How many of us lawyers would still be nasty, cynical, or obnoxious?

What if the people getting divorced were also friends to themselves? What would that world look like?

My guess is that it's a place I'd like to see. A place where people wouldn't feel so threatened all the time. A place where each of us would believe in our own intrinsic value, that we were powerful, good people, caught in a bad moment.

And whether that moment continued for one more week or month or year, it would end-up being but a small fraction of our time on Earth. No one would willingly prolong it by fighting for things that didn't matter.

More than anything, though, that world would be a place where no one would fear being alone. Because, of course, no one is alone if they have themselves for a friend.

So today, I'm going to try to be my own friend. A friend to a guy who loves his family, always tries to do the right thing, and wants to blaze his own trail, even if the rest of the lawyers stand on the sidelines and snicker at me.

At least I won't be alone.

Stay strong,

 
2017.01.11 -- Rob Signature.jpg
 

 

 

Letter No. 5 -- Terrible.

This post continues my experiment of applying ancient wisdom to the present day experience of people facing divorce in Minnesota.

The wisdom comes from Seneca (an old Roman dude) who wrote a series of letters about the meaning of life to his friend, Lucilius. Whether Seneca actually sent the letters, or just compiled them as a book, doesn't matter to me because I've found his advice as sound today as it was in 65 A.D.

All the letters can be downloaded (for free) courtesy of Tim Ferriss. Click (here) for his website. He's got lots of other amazing stuff is there too. I highly recommend his book, Tools of Titans, which is worth the cost.

Today's letter is No. 5. It's titled On the Philosopher's Mean.

To be blunt, this letter sucks. You'd be better off watching a Thomas the Train rerun than wasting your time on it.

Seneca drones on for paragraph after paragraph about how Lucilius shouldn't look too good or too bad. Don't be too rich or too poor. Instead, live a plain life.

Because I'm trying hard not to be a quitter anymore, I did read to the end of the letter. And I'm happy to report Seneca does offer something I can share.

He tells Lucilius that the best way to eliminate fears is to get rid of desire. The two are linked together like a "chain [that] fastens the prisoner and the soldier who guards him."

How so?

Because both fear and desire "belong to . . . a mind that is . . . looking forward to the future. In so doing, we don't "adapt ourselves to the present, but send our thoughts a long way ahead."

He closes by explaining that animals avoid the dangers they see and then forget about them. But not us. We humans continue to worry about both the perceived future dangers and our past shortcomings.

The solution: Focus on the present, which "can make no man wretched."

How does this apply to a present day divorce in Minnesota?

Almost everyone I meet (me included) is stuck in either the future or the past. Or both. It clouds their decision-making.

Not many people appreciate that things are okay right now. Few of the dangers they fear are actually happening. And many never will.

It reminds me of the old quote sometimes attributed to Mark Twain: "I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened."

Fix this problem now! Focus on the present moment. What needs to happen today to make it a good day? What are the one or two things that if you did today, you'd be proud of yourself?

Do those things. Stop doing the things that don't matter. Your life won't fall apart. Neither will the rest of the world.

Stay strong,

 
2017.01.11 -- Rob Signature.jpg
 

 

 

 

Letter No. 4 -- Fearing Death

On goes my continuing experiment of applying ancient wisdom to the present day experience of people facing divorce in Minnesota.

The wisdom comes from Seneca (an old Roman dude) who wrote a series of letters to his friend, Lucilius. The letters were about the meaning of life. Whether Seneca actually sent the letters, or just compiled them as a book, doesn't matter to me because I've found his advice as sound today as it was in 65 A.D.

All the letters can be downloaded (for free) courtesy of Tim Ferriss. Click (here) for his website. Lots of other amazing stuff is there too. I highly recommend his book, Tools of Titans, which is worth the cost.

Today's letter is No. 4. It's titled On the Terrors of Death.

At first blush, the title seems light years away from sensible divorce advice. Everyone agrees that divorce is bad. But it's not like death, right?

Or is it? Do people worry about divorce in the same way they worry about death?

Seneca explains that we shouldn't fear death because:

"No evil is great which is the last evil of all. Death arrives; it would be a thing to dread, if it could remain with you. But death must either not come at all, or else must come and pass away."

He reminds us that from the instant our life begins, we start the march towards its end. Resistance is futile. Rich or poor. Old or young. Happy or sad. We all go the same.

And yet, instead of living boldly, we spend our time alternating between complaining about life's inequities and fearing its end. "Unwilling to live." Not prepared to die.

What is a person to do?

The solution Seneca offers is to "make life as a whole agreeable to yourself by banishing all worry about it." He tells Lucilius that most anguish is caused by "superfluous things." Those things we don't really need, which consume our time and desire.

He says, "That which is enough is ready to our hands."

How does this apply to a divorce in 2018?

For many people, the self-talk during a divorce mirrors what happens with death. They are not content or happy or living boldly in their marriage. Instead, they alternate between complaining about their spouse and fearing the marriage's end.

Like death, divorce is inevitable if one spouse demands it.

Why not instead make life "agreeable" to you? "Banish all worry" about the divorce. It "must either not come at all, or else must come and pass away."

In any case, you are strong enough to survive it. You have all you need already in your hands.

Our world is one of abundance, if you choose to see it that way.

My Experience.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that living Seneca's advice isn't easy. I get depressed too. Worried. Sometimes, I even believe I'm destined for the opposite of greatness.

But I've found a way out of that tunnel. A way to stop worrying so much about what is going to happen to me and focus instead on the present moment.

How do I do it?

I'll tell you, but you're going to laugh. You'll say, "It's stupid." Tease me about being an idiot.

But it isn't stupid. And it does work.

First, I decide not to feel that way anymore, then I fake it until I make it. I repeat an affirmation 15 times in front of the mirror.

What do I say?

The old Stuart Smalley routine works best: "I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!" 

No joke.

When I'm done, I feel better. You won't be cured after the first day. But after 60 days, you will notice a difference.

Or at least not be afraid of looking like an idiot anymore.

Stay strong,

Rob

 

 

Letter No. 3 -- True Friends

This post continues my attempt to apply ancient wisdom to the present day experience of people going through a divorce in Minnesota.

The wisdom comes from Seneca (an old Roman dude) who wrote a series of letters to his friend, Lucilius, about the meaning of life. Whether the letters were actually sent, or just compiled as a book, doesn't matter to me because I've found his advice as sound today as when he wrote it circa 65 A.D.

All the letters can be downloaded (for free) courtesy of Tim Ferriss. Click (here) for his website. He's got a bunch of other amazing stuff too.

Today's Letter is No. 3. It's titled On True and False Friendship.

In it, Seneca writes Lucilius saying that he's received Lucilius's letter. The one brought by a "friend." Seneca says he's confused by how Lucilius uses the word because in the same letter Lucilius also urges him not to share any private details with the man.

Seneca asks Lucilius how someone can simultaneously be both a "friend" and someone you don't trust "as you trust yourself."

Seneca wonders if Lucilius has the idea of friendship backwards. Instead of calling a person a friend first and then later judging them unworthy, the better way is to judge a person worthy first, then to share "all your heart and soul" with them.

Sharing at least all your worries and reflections. "Regard him as loyal, and you will make him loyal."

How does Seneca's advice apply to a Minnesota divorce?

If you substitute the word "attorney" for "friend," you've hit upon a common problem in divorce cases.

People choose lawyers too fast.

They hand over retainer payments and share intimate details of their lives without first judging the lawyer they've made their "friend." They attach significance to phony awards and popularity contests. They are swayed by the awe of a lawyer's website or whether they have an office in a skyscraper.

But not enough people choose lawyers the way Seneca urges Lucilius to judge "friends." Is this lawyer worthy of my trust? Is this lawyer a person to whom I want to confide? Is this lawyer the kind of person I want representing me?

Believe it or not, clients run divorce cases. Lawyers work for people, not the other way around. People buy services. They pay bills.

I think everyone would be better off if more people: "Ponder[ed] for a long time whether [they] shall admit a given person to [be their lawyer]; but when [they] have decided to admit him, welcome him with all [their] heart and soul. Speak as boldly with him as with [themselves.]"

By far, the worst moments of my legal career involve a client betrayal. A person chooses me, then, for reasons I don't understand, betrays me. They tell a spouse or friend or even the other lawyer I'm no good.

Lawyers do the same kind of backstabbing to clients. Not all, of course. But some. My jaw dropped when I watched a lawyer tell a judge (back in chambers) that her client was crazy.

We shouldn't treat each other this way.

What would happen if you had unwavering faith in your lawyer? What would be like to know that your lawyer had unwavering faith in you?

That's a world I'd like to see.

Stay strong,

Rob

Letter No. 2 -- Solicit Advice Carefully

If you're just joining me, I'm writing a daily blog applying ancient wisdom to the present day experience of people going through a divorce in Minnesota.

The wisdom comes from Seneca (an old Roman dude) who wrote a series of letters about the meaning of life to his friend, Lucilius. Whether the letters were actually sent, or just compiled in book form, doesn't matter to me because I've found his advice as sound today as when he wrote it circa 65 A.D.

All the letters can be downloaded (for free) courtesy of Tim Ferriss. Click (here) for his website. He's got a bunch of other amazing stuff too.

Today's Letter is No. 2. It's titled On Discursiveness in Reading. If that makes you want to click away, you're not alone. I had the same reaction when I read it this morning.

But sometimes good things do come in ugly packages. Today's letter is one of them.

Seneca tells Lucilius to be careful how many authors he reads because it will cause him to meander (that's what discursive means in this context) and to be unsteady. Being everywhere is nowhere, he explains.

Then he provides a series of examples everyone can understand: "Food does no good and is not assimilated into the body if it leaves the stomach as soon as it is eaten; nothing hinders a cure so much as frequent change of medicine; no wound will heal when one salve is tried after another; a plant which is often moved can never grow strong."

Stay focused, he's telling us.

Near the end, he answers a potential objection Lucilius may have about wanting to "dip first into one book and then into another.”

He tells his friend to resist the urge. To focus instead on things that will fortify him against poverty, death, and other misfortunes. Then he suggests that Lucilius "select one [thing] to be thoroughly digested that day" and to concentrate on it.

What good advice!

How often have I jumped from one thing to another? In the past two months, I've probably started reading twenty books, only finished five of them. I've also resolved not to eat so many pumpkin muffins, to get up earlier, to write 2,500 words a day, to not watch so much TV, to exercise 5 days per week, and to focus on being more grateful.

My computer monitor has five post-it notes stuck to it. Each one offers a different bit of wisdom.

How well do you think I'm doing focusing on so many things?

Not great.

I think the situation is the same for people going through a divorce. Many well-intentioned family members, friends, and colleagues will offer advice about what you should be doing. How you should be fighting more. How you must get more, and how you need to stand-up for yourself.

And where does all this wisdom lead you?

Nowhere, if you're lucky. Some place dark, if you're not.

As for me, I'm following Seneca's advice. At least for today anyway. I'm focusing on recapturing my own time. Trying not to let others take it from me without my consent.

So don't be upset if I tell you that our time is up. There are many more important things each of us needs to do today. We might not have many left.

Stay strong,

Rob
 

Letter No. 1 -- What are you doing with your life?

In yesterday's post, I gushed about Tim Ferriss's Tao of Seneca (which you can get here for free). It's a collection of letters Seneca (an old Roman dude) wrote to his friend, Lucilius, providing important life lessons.

Don't you just wish people still wrote letters?

I can't remember the last time I got a handwritten letter. And I'm not talking about one of those phony junk mailers designed to look cursive. I mean an honest to goodness letter.

If an old guy (or woman, I'm not sexist), started mailing me letters on the meaning of life, I'm not sure what I'd do.

If the advice was sound, I might send a gift card. Good mentors are hard to find.

Because I don't know if Lucilius appreciated Seneca's advice, I think we owe it to him to at least consider what he has to say. Especially since none of the so "divorce experts" or "super lawyers" I know have any idea what a divorce feels like for someone else.

Value Your Time

In Letter No. 1, Seneca tells Lucilius to "set yourself free for your own sake; gather and save your time, which till lately has been forced from you, or filched away, or has merely slipped from your hands."

He explains that "the largest portion of our life passes while we are doing ill, a goodly share while we are doing nothing, and the whole while we are doing that which is not to the purpose."

He emphases that there is nothing in life more precious (or limited) than time. And yet, very few among us appreciate it. We let fools and cheap and useless things steal it from us.

He pleads with Lucilius to "hold every hour in your grasp . . . While we are postponing, life speeds by."

Divorce Questions

As a divorce lawyer, I see much wasted time. People consumed by anger. People who allow unkind and troubled spouses to steal the present from them. Sometimes, for years after a divorce has ended.

I don't claim to know what Seneca would say to you. I have enough trouble trying to figure out what he'd say to me.

But what I can share is that I hate when people fight unnecessary battles, even when I get paid. My life is too short. If you want that approach, I can refer you to a guy in Minneapolis. He'll fight until all your money is gone.

The other thing I believe is that you should figure out what makes you happy. And then run like hell in that direction. Don't stop to wave goodbye.

No, I'm not suggesting that you steal the kids or shack up with a new stud or quit your job.

Okay, maybe quit your job. But not until the divorce over. And you check with me first.

When we were kids, all of us knew what made us happy. We had dreams of the big things we wanted to do. The kind of people we wanted to be.

Somewhere along the way, most of us got lost. Me included. We spent nights watching Netflix instead of writing a novel or tinkering in the basement or even bowling with friends.

What if the divorce isn't the worst thing that happens to you? What if it's a gift? A second chance to take charge of your time before life passes you by.

What would you do with that time?

For me, the answer is helping people and writing fiction. I love books as much as I love law. If you poke around long enough, you might just find some stories I've written.

Stay Strong,

Rob

Seneca's Letters -- Start Here -- Letter No. 13 -- No More Fears . . .

Because I get anxious too, I often find myself drawn to the self-help genre.

Usually, it strikes me when I wake up in a funk, not caused by any particular trouble. Then I begin making lists. Mental ones, of course; no one writes actual lists.

I begin rattling off all the things I haven't done, but which a successful version of me would have done, by this stage in my life.

Some of you might be surprised to learn that I have not been elected President of the United States, even though I technically do qualify.

Not that I'm working towards that goal. Or even wish for it. From what I hear, the White House isn't very nice these days.

No matter. I still haven't achieved it.

I try to shake these thoughts while waiting for my first cup of coffee to brew by plopping down in my reading chair (a $99 dollar Ikea special) and cracking open a classic book. One of those everyone "loves" but I've never seen anyone actually read.

When my eyes hit the page, I can't make sense of the words. And it's not because I'm an idiot. It's because I can't concentrate. How could anyone concentrate when they haven't accomplished noteworthy yet?

What the hell's my problem?

So I close the book (with the mark in the same place where I started) and grab my Kindle. With a swipe of the wrist and two finger taps, I'm in the Kindle Store surfing for books. Surely, someone out there must know why I haven't achieved all those things that seemed inevitable twenty years ago.

Most times, I do find something. A bestseller. Or an approach to life that has helped millions. At first, I feel it's helping me too. I have a renewed bounce in my step. I'm confident I'm back on the right track.

But then I give up. Or get bored. Or worse. And within a few days, I'm back to making lists again.

Occasionally, however, I stumble across something worth sharing.

Today's tip comes from Letter No. 13 in Tim Ferriss's Tao of Seneca. It's called On Groundless Fears. You can download it here for free. It's part of Volume 1.

Seneca (an old Roman dude) is writing a series of letters to his friend, Lucilius, explaining the things he's learned in life.

In this letter, he tells Lucilius that "there are more things . . . likely to frighten us than there are to crush us; we suffer more often in imagination than in reality."

He advises Lucilius "not to be unhappy before the crisis comes; since it may be that the dangers [feared] will never come upon you; they certainly have not yet come."

And while he admits that some troubles are inevitable, he suggests that his friend ask:

“Well, what if it does happen? Let us see who wins! Perhaps it happens for my best interests; it may be that such a death will shed credit upon my life." Then he provides examples of famous Romans who are remembered because of how they died.

He finishes by urging Lucilius not to delay in charging forth. Go out and "increase and beautify the good that is in you."

"For the fool, with all his other faults, has this also, he is always getting ready to live.”

Wow! How many times have I been the fool?

For me, the groundless fears Seneca describes are the reason I haven't done many of the things I've wanted with my life. I've taken the safe route. Been a good lawyer. Done the things society expects of me.

But no more!

Starting today, this blog will tell the story I want to tell. And if you don't like it, feel free to click away.

I hope you don't.

Imagine how much more we could all do together if we weren't afraid of our own thoughts.

Stay strong,

Rob