Image by morhamedufmg from Pixabay
Some of the ideas we read today may seem new because they are different from commonly held beliefs of recent decades gone by. For example, living in the moment
wasn't an expression I heard as a teenager. These days some people are realising excess possessions aren't the way to happiness and they are looking to lead a simpler, less cluttered life. However, when I moved out of home it was expected I would accumulate plenty of furniture and items to decorate my house, in fact the more the better. Gratitude is currently a buzz word. Concepts such as living in the moment, living simply, gratitude and the value of friendship actually date back to the time of the ancient philosophers as reflected in some of their quotes.
Epicurus (341BC –270 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher from the island of Samos. He gave the advice, 'Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not.' This sounds like the modern concept of gratitude for the blessings one has. The emphasis is on the good in life rather than on wanting more bigger and brighter possessions.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Seneca, a Roman Stoic philosopher was born in 4BC and died in 65 AD. He had these words of wisdom which ring true even now -
'One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood'. This quote mentions the value of friendship and the importance of good communication. click here for more about friendship
Even two thousand years ago, people felt the times were uncertain. Seneca summed this up saying, 'The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.' This sounds like Seneca believed in living in the moment, he just expressed the concept in different words. More about living in the moment
Living in the moment Image by John Hain from Pixabay
Epicetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher who lived around 55AD to 135AD. He had this to say about feeling you have enough, 'Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.'
Modern day minimalist and writer, Francine Jay states, 'To be richer, happier, and freer, all you need to do is want less.' Francine Jay and Epicetus have a similar view on possessions.
Although Marcus Aurelius, a Roman Stoic philosopher lived between the years of 121AD and 180AD, his words are still relevant. He said, 'Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.'
Plenty has changed over the centuries for sure, but some ideas and beliefs are much the same.