Always The Same – The Daily Stoic – Part 14 of 366

Think by way of example on the times of Vespasian, and you’ll see all these things: marrying, raising children, falling ill, dying, wars, holiday feasts, commerce, farming, flattering, pretending, suspecting, scheming, praying that others die, grumbling over one’s lot, falling in love, amassing fortunes, lusting after office and power. Now that life of theirs is dead and gone… the times of Trajan, again the same…

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 4.32

It is easy to think we now live at the apex of human society, with our impressive technology and handful of accomplishments truly defining of our species. The Industrial Revolution. The invention of flight. The moon landing. The Internet.

But, truthfully, evolution takes a long time to occur. It takes a duration so long it is not easily comprehended by humans. Humans today are not appreciably different from humans 50, 100, or 1000 years ago. Sure, we have more technology and knowledge at our finger tips, but that largely does not change who and what we are. As Marcus Aurelius points out, we largely do what our ancestors did. Our ancestors will do largely what we do. Per the book, “With a few exceptions, things are the same as they’ve always been and always will be.”

We are all, for a brief time, passengers on the starship of Earth. It was here long before we were born, and it will be here long after we are gone. Radical change is not in the cards. Humans are humans, and they do what humans do. Make your peace with that and you improve your chances of a pleasant journey through the cosmos.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s