more from Seneca the Younger

Single Idea 13305

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / e. Character]

Full Idea

What really ruins our characters is the fact that none of us looks back over his life. We think a little about what we are going to do, and fail to think about what we have done, yet plans for the future depend on the past.

Gist of Idea

Character is ruined by not looking back over our pasts, since the future rests on the past


Seneca the Younger (Letters from a Stoic [c.60], 083)

Book Reference

Seneca: 'Letters from a Stoic (Selections)', ed/tr. Campbell,Robin [Penguin 1969], p.140

A Reaction

One always assumes that writings about the wisdom of daily life will be one mass of clichés, but Seneca proves otherwise. With a pang I realise that I may be too guilty of not thinking about the past. I've even been proud of it.