Why do I not seek some real good; one which I could feel, not one which I could display?

Why do I not seek some real good; one which I could feel, not one which I could display? – Seneca

It is one thing to have some glitter. It is another to pursue it to the exclusion of all else. As usual, the proper path is between the extremes.

It is one thing to have some glitter. It is another to pursue it to the exclusion of all else. As usual, I believe the proper path is between the extremes. Be of substance.

What does that mean?
This quote is kind of hard to understand on it’s own, as the context is stripped by Twitter’s 140 limit. A longer version starts with the quote and continues:

These things that draw the eyes of men, before which they halt, which they show to one another in wonder, outwardly glitter, but are worthless within.

The quote, then, is urging us to consider seeking those things which are intrinsically good, rather than the shiny things, which only have a pleasing appearance.

Whether it is helping others, educating ourselves, or doing any of a number of other things, we can seek real good. Actual good for ourselves, and good for others.

It is, of course, our choice. To pursue that which is good of itself, or that which is good to look at. Which is the good that you will pursue?

Why is seeking the substantial good important?  
The shiny things flitter before our eyes, and are gone. Quick, can you name the last three boy-bands to have a hit and then fade away? What about pop divas? How long do they last? These are these are the things which draw our eyes, which we share with each other, which glitter, but are essentially worthless.

Yes, we may feel good in the moment. It may take our mind off our worries of the moment, but do they do any lasting good for you, your friends, your community, your country, or the planet? This is the point of the quote. It urges us to avoid the superficial and seek the substantial good in things.

For those of us with fixations on the shiny things, this can be difficult to keep in mind. For those who live for the shiny things, this will be even more difficult, as it will require a change in focus at the most basic level of their lives. For the rest of you, it’s something you probably already do.

If we can put even a little more effort into the things which are good in substance, the world will have a brief surge for the better. If we can keep it up, we can shift the world, ever so slightly, towards a better future. And that, I believe, is an important thing to try to do.

Where can I apply this in my life?
As there are a limited number of hours in the day, to do more of anything, we usually have to find something we presently do which can be reduced. This quote gives us a hint of both what we should be trying to do more, and what we should be trying to do less.

Where in your life are you pursuing the shiny, that which has glitter on the outside, but is worthless within? For me, it included online games through social media, as well as empty TV shows. I still watch TV shows which educate me, and relax with shows which amuse me, but I try not to waste time with the empty shows.

Take a moment and think about the things you do or pursue in an average week which would qualify as being shiny and glittery on the outside, but hollow, empty, or worthless within. How much of that could you reduce, even if only by a little? Could you make enough time in your busy week to do something of substance?

With a new-found hour or two (or even three!), it is time to consider what you could do which would be considered something good, and something of substance. Talking to someone about a cause you support is good, but unless they turn around and do something about it, it may be a little light on substance, right?

Take a moment and consider what you consider to be substantial, and what good causes you support. Instead of talking to someone about the need to feed the hungry in your area, you could invite them to meet you at a local food pantry or soup kitchen. Help out, or donate, and invite them to do the same.

I hope you can see how a small change in what you do, or how you approach an issue can make a big difference in how much substance it produces. In this manner, much of what we do can be tweaked, resulting in more substance and less shiny, glittery, empty things.

What can you do to make your time result in more substantive good things for yourself and for others? Take a few moments and consider what you can do differently which might make your efforts yield better results, and provide more help to a greater number of people.

From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/286475-why-do-i-not… Epistles 1-65
Photo by GlitzUK

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2 Responses to Why do I not seek some real good; one which I could feel, not one which I could display?

  1. Kat at travelgardeneat 28 December 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    When I read the quote, I immediately thought of a similarity to Antoine St Exupery’s quote: … “it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye” …

    • philosiblog 28 December 2013 at 11:49 pm #

      Interesting. I didn’t think of it, and I’ve already done that quote. I hope I didn’t plagiarizing myself. 8)

      Thanks for stopping by, and for leaving a comment. Hope you found it interesting, and perhaps even useful.

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