What nature requires is obtainable, and within easy reach. It is for the superfluous we sweat. – Seneca
What does that mean?
This one is so true, it almost hurts. It is especially this time of year, when it is all too easy to get caught up in materialism or consumerism. Do you require a big screen TV, or is that superfluous?
Food, shelter, transportation, these things are readily available. Yeah, you might end up living in a cheap apartment due to your cash flow, but you can probably get shelter pretty easily. You might have to trade off transportation for shelter, that is an affordable place might mean a longer commute, right? But you can make it work.
However, if your commuter vehicle is really expensive, you’ve gone beyond what nature requires, and bumped into the superfluous. Same goes for shelter and food. If you’re shopping for caviar, you’re well past what nature requires, and are deep into the superfluous. That’s not a knock, but simply an observation.
Why is balance in your life important?
It’s easy to get caught up in buying the next great thing. It seems to be a natural impulse to want to have the best things around you. And we all have areas in our lives where we are more vulnerable to this urge, and others where we are less so.
But it is very easy to get stretched thin, to be pulled too many directions at once, to find ourselves so far past what nature requires for us to survive. That’s when we start sweating. Either from effort, to pay for everything, or from nervousness, trying to figure out how to pay for everything, right?
To me, this quote is about balance. Nature requires a few things to keep us alive. But few people would be satisfied with just barely living. Most of us want to upgrade a few things. That’s fine. You can even go wild, if you are willing to sweat to make it happen.
Where can I apply this in my life?
I love keeping up with tech gadgets, and could care less about shoes. That’s why I wear Converse All Star’s Chuck Taylor High Tops (in white). Basic foot coverings in a breathable canvas upper. They get dirty in a hurry, but I don’t care. That’s not my thing. I don’t care what the latest and greatest sneaker is this week.
Not that I have anything against those who like the fancy sneakers. If you are willing to put in the sweat to pay for them, then power to you! But if you then turn around and ask me to help you pay for a meal, that’s a little messed up, isn’t it?
That goes back to balance. If you go too far in one area of your life, you may end up short in other areas. If you blow your whole paycheck over the weekend, partying like crazy, and then don’t know where you’re going to get the cash to buy groceries, you’re going to sweat, right?
You can sweat trying to work harder, to get the extras, the superfluous things you so desire. That’s fine, sweat away! But if you’re shorting yourself in one area to do superfluous things in another, that’s not exactly bright, now is it?
That, to me, is what this quote is urging us to try to avoid. It’s trying to remind us that the simple things are easy to get. It’s trying to remind us that we only have to really sweat when we start getting silly with the things we want, but don’t need to survive.
However, in modern society, how are you looked at if you have a 20 year old car, cheap canvas sneakers, old jeans & t-shirts, and only 1 big screen TV? Please, tell me, because that is me. I doubt that I’m anywhere near normal, and am probably way low on the superfluous scale (except for the tech gadgets, that is).
What are you looking at buying that you don’t really need? What do you have around your house that is superfluous? Are there things that are now sitting unused because they were completely superfluous? Any old exercise equipment sitting in a corner or in the garage? Yeah, me too. 8)
I’m not saying to not enjoy your life or the fruits of your labor. I’m just suggesting, as is the quote, that you take a moment and examine your life and how this new thing fits in with it. Is it really necessary, or could you better use your time, money, or energy on other things?
Enjoy yourself, by all means! Just don’t go too crazy with all the superfluous things, because all you really need is within easy reach.
From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/luciusanna160464.html
Photo by meglet127