Don’t Hope Without Despair! – Seneca, Robot

Seneca, Moral Epistle 104.12

“You will consider losing any of the people you love the worst evil , even though it is as inappropriate as crying because the leaves of the charming trees that decorate your home have fallen. Treat everything that pleases you like those growing plants: while they live, use them, since different plants wilt and die on different days. Just as the the fall of some leaves is a minor affair because they grow back again, so it is with those come you love and you believe are your life’s happiness–they can be replaced even though they are not reborn. 

‘New friends won’t be the same!” one objects. Nope, and you won’t be the same either. Every day, every hour changes you. What time takes is easier to see in others, it is hidden in yourself because it doesn’t happen obviously. Others disappear, but we are stolen from ourselves secretly. You will not consider these problems or find any treatment for the wounds. But you will raise up reasons for anxiety by hoping some days, despairing others. If you are smart, you will mix these two. Don’t hope without despairing or despair without hope.”

Gravissimum iudicabis malum, aliquem ex his, quos amabis, amittere, cum interim hoc tam ineptum erit quam flere, quod arboribus amoenis et domum tuam ornantibus decidant folia. Quicquid te delectat, aeque vide ut flores virides; dum virent, utere; alium alio die casus excutiet. Sed quemadmodum frondium iactura facilis est, quia renascuntur, sic istorum, quos amas quosque oblectamenta vitae putas esse, damnum, quia reparantur, etiam si non renascuntur. 

“Sed non erunt idem.” Ne tu quidem idem eris. Omnis dies, omnis hora te mutat; sed in aliis rapina facilius apparet, hic latet, quia non ex aperto fiet. Alii auferuntur, at ipsi nobis furto subducimur. Horum nihil cogitabis nec remedia vulneribus oppones, sed ipse tibi seres sollicitudinum causas alia sperando, alia desperando. Si sapis, alterum alteri misce: nec speraveris sine desperatione nec desperaveris sine spe.

Aslam Karachiwala, “Yellow on Tree Trunk 7”

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