On the Porch with the Stoics: Seneca

We’ve taken a quick tour of Stoicism and heard from the likes of Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius and Seneca. Today, we end this series with Seneca’s piece that has been titled over the millennia, “On the Shortness of Life.” The piece is a strident call to action. Truly, it’s about seizing the day like no other written work.

The version from which Lee Ann reads is a sampling from a translation by John W. Basore.  It’s a public domain work. You may find it at this link.  Mr. Basore translated the piece in 1932.

If you want to hear the whole of “On the Shortness of Life,” there is a wonderful version on YouTube (here). The reader’s voice is eloquent and interprets the phrases nicely.

I recommend sitting down and reading this on a regular basis. It takes no more than 45 minutes to an hour. And it’s impact is extraordinary. If you need some nudging, pushing or a swift kick to get moving in your life, THIS is the antidote!

If you missed the prior episodes of the “On the Porch” series, by all means check them out below and join the dialogue with the ancients!

On the Porch with New Friends: The Stoics (An Introduction)

On the Porch with the Stoics: Discipline of Perception

On the Porch with the Stoics: Discipline of Action

On the Porch with the Stoics: Discipline of Will


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Lee Ann


About the Author Lee Ann Hopkins

"Smile and the world smiles with you." That's the motto she lives by. Lee Ann is perfectly imperfect and unabashed about it even as she strives for higher and "better" every day. Both her can-do and her foibles are as fabulous as her smile. So take a moment and breathe in Lee Ann's "hooray" for today! Ms. Hopkins is host of the podcast Hooray Weekly, founder of The Hooray Daily and Hooray Living, a speaker, writer and do-gooder, who believe-it-or-not has been a public-interest attorney and clergywoman for longer than she cares to admit. Check out her books, You Are All That: Creating a Great Life with Affirmations, and Hooray for You: 365 Get-Up-and-Go-Go Quotes for Your Year. When you write her, send along a clergy and attorney joke. She loves 'em!

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