If one were to look closely into the values, lessons, and ideals that are presently taught by many today, one would discover that these teachings are not new, nor are they original. It is my firm belief that all spiritual, philosophical, and social ideals originate from past enlightenments and have merely been restructured and rephrased to fit the modern context of today. It is with this in mind that I would like to extend my appreciation through this thank you letter to one of the forefathers of the values most of us abide in today, the Roman philosopher, Seneca the Younger.
The ancient philosophy you taught during your time has proven to be relevant even for modern wisdom. I, for one, have been moved by your teachings and have tried to live according to the many values you wrote about in a number of your essays and letters. This thank you letter is for that.
One of my personal favorites is when you wrote “Poor wretches, whose appetite is only tempted by expensive foods”, referring to the concept that true wealth should never be measured by mere possessions but by having the time and opportunity to do what you want, make a difference, and take control of your own life. This is a philosophy that was adopted by author Tim Ferris (another one of the individuals I hold in high esteem and follow) in his book the 4-Hour Workweek. Realizing the truth in that concept has somewhat affected my own approach to what is important in my life and how I should manage my time.
I find equally agreeable your notion that happiness and contentment do not reside in extravagance or in the quest to amass as much material belongings, but instead is found in temperance, experience, and enlightenment through education. I think that this is certainly fitting, maybe even more so, in the world we live in today, wherein people seem to equate success with having more of everything that can be bought. Living my life with your idea has certainly made me more content.
There are many formulas to happiness, success, and life that are being taught today that, in truth, I feel are all derivations of your ancient teachings. I believe that this shows how we cannot take ancient wisdom like yours for granted. Also, if we were ever to extend appreciation for the concepts that govern our lives now, we should give our “thank you” to you for coming up with most of it.
Accept my thank you letter as a sign of my gratitude for all the uplifting lessons that you have imparted on me, which have positively affected my life and for proving my theory that much of what we know now, we can trace all the way back to ancient history.