Meaning

Our Time to Live Is Limited

“The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately!”

 Seneca, 49 AD, Pg.13

 

In order to make use of our time, we must realise the uncertainty of our future. If we do not consciously accept how fragile we are by nature, what motivation have we to approach life with fierce intent?

To live the most meaningful life possible, we must make use of every moment given to us. What could we do to eliminate living life carelessly? We waste our time, or live life haphazardly as if it holds no value. Either way, we are not appreciating our limited opportunity to live.

When we do accept the uncertainty of life, we can fall into believing it isn’t worth our while to pursue anything. But it is critical to remember the pure magic one person can create in a lifetime, if every present moment is lived with resolve to pursue meaning.

Seneca, 49 AD, On the Shortness of Life, On the Shortness of Life: Life Is Long If You Know How To Use It, Translated by C. D. N. Costa, Penguin Books Great Ideas, Penguin Books, 2005

future uncertain, poussin, a dance to the music of time
Nicolas Poussin, A Dance to the Music of Time (1634-6) commissioned by Pope Clement IX. Source: The Wallace Collection, London

‘Time’ sits to the right playing the lyre, a putto holding his hour glass. Four people dance in the centre, who are often interpreted as the four seasons or else as representing Poverty, Labour, Wealth and Pleasure (starting from the character at the back, facing away, going clockwise). To the left the two faces of Janus looking to the past and future. In the sky, it appears Aurora, goddess of dawn leads Apollo in his chariot, god of sun and light. The Hours or Horae follow; goddesses of the seasons and natural portions of time.

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