Pssst, Friend. Don’t Listen to the Sirens’ Song!

Seneca, Moral Epistle 31.2-3

“In summary, you will be wise, if you close your ears–something for which wax isn’t sufficient. You need something thicker than what Odysseus’ companions used. That voice he feared was tempting but it still wasn’t all encompassing.

The song you should fear doesn’t come from a single crag but resounds from every part of the earth. So, don’t sail past one place you can’t trust because of its insidious pleasure, but avoid every city.

But be deaf to those you love the most, especially: they hope for terrible things with good intention. If you want to be happy, beg the gods that nothing your friends hope for you happens. See, those things they wish to pile up for you are not good. There is a single good, one sound foundation for a good life: to trust yourself.”

Ad summam sapiens eris, si cluseris aures, quibus ceram parum est obdere; firmiore spissamento opus est quam in sociis usum Vlixem ferunt. Illa vox, quae timebatur, erat blanda, non tamen publica, at haec, quae timenda est, non ex uno scopulo, sed ex omni terrarum parte circumsonat. Praetervehere itaque non unum locum insidiosa voluptate suspectum, sed omnes urbes. Surdum te amantissimis tuis praesta; bono animo mala precantur. Et si esse vis felix, deos ora, ne quid tibi ex his, quae optantur, eveniat. Non sunt ista bona, quae in te isti volunt congeri; unum bonum est, quod beatae vitae causa et firmamentum est, sibi fidere.

GIF from Napoleon Dynamite with Napoleon saying to Pedro "that's what I do"

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