Your Occasional Stoic — The present Moment is the Same For All Men

Even if you were to live three thousand years or more remember that no man loses any other life than that which now lives, nor lives any other than that which he is now losing. The longest and the shortest lives come to one effect. The present moment is the same for all men, and their loss, therefore, is equal, for it is clear that what they lose in death is but a fleeting instant of time. No man can lose either the past or the future, for how can a man be deprived of what he has not? These two things then are to be remembered: First, that all things recur in cycles, and are the same from everlasting, and that, therefore, it matters nothing whether a man shall contemplate these same things for one hundred years, or for two hundred, or for an infinite stretch of time: and, secondly, that he who lives longest and he who dies soonest have an equal loss in death. The present moment is all of which either is deprived, since that is all he has. No man can be robbed of that which he has not.

Meditations 2:14


This moment — it is all you have. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t promised. It’s easy to view this as a cliché, but its also the truth. Simple, yet so hard to really grasp, and to use to change your life. That’s why, though the idea is simple Marcus repeats it, in various ways, with various nuances so often. And it also why, though they are sometimes repetitive, it’s important to me to engage with Marcus on this, over and over again.

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