True happiness is to understand our duties toward God and man; to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future; not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears, but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is abundantly sufficient; for he that is so wants nothing. The great blessings of mankind are with us, and within our reach; but we shut our eyes and, like people in the dark, fall foul of the very thing we search for without finding it. Tranquility is a certain equality of mind which no condition of fortune can either exalt or depress. There must be sound mind to make a happy man; there must be constancy in all conditions, a care for the things of this world but without anxiety; and such an indifference to the bounties of fortune that either with them or without them we may live content. True joy is serene. . . The seat of it is within, and there is no cheerfulness like the resolution of a brave mind that has fortune under its feat. It is an invincible greatness of mind not to be elevated or dejected with good or ill fortune. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it be – without wishing for what he has not.
Seneca (4 BC – 65 AD)
© Jan McClintock of We Need More Shelves