A call to humility

Think of the universal substance of which thou hast a very small portion and of universal time of which a short and indivisible interval has been assigned to thee and of that which is fixed by destiny and how small a part of it thou art.

Meditations of Emperor Marcus Aurelius

On the length of one’s life

Man thou has been a citizen in this great state; what difference does it make to thee whether for five years or for three? For that which is conformable to the laws is just for all. Where is the hardship then, if no tyrant, not yet an unjust judge sends thee away from the state, but nature, who brought thee into it? The same is as if a praetor who has employed an actor dismisses him from the stage… “But I have not finished the five acts, but only three of them”… Thou sayest well, but in life the three acts are the whole drama, for what shall be a complete drama is determined by him who was once the cause of its composition, and now of its dissolution; but thou art the cause of neither. Depart then satisfied, for he also who releases thee is satisfied.

The Meditations of Emporor Marcus Aurelius