Sunday evening Stoic: Alexander the Great and his mule driver

Neither still exists. Nor does everyone’s favorite emperor, Marcus Aurelius, who wrote this in Meditations (6.24):

“Alexander the Great and his mule driver both died and the same thing happened to both. They were absorbed alike into the life force of the world, or dissolved alike into atoms.”

How nice to be remembered, and especially if your life is still making a difference for others, even centuries later. But what good does it do Alexander? Or Marcus?

Your life will be merely other people’s memories in a few years when you’re gone. And a century or two from now, it’s likely no one will know of you at all.

You can try really hard to be one of the few whose mark on our culture endures for a long time. Or you can focus simply on making the most of your limited time here.

Put your problems and your worries in perspective. Live excellently. Be kind. Have patience with those around you. Enjoy your life.


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