When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. – Marcus Aurelius.
I always loved the personal writings, “The Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius. It is fascinating when one can learn about the private thinkings that were meant as a source for a man’s own guidance and self-improvement, especially when it is someone that has held such historical importance. Recording private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy, these intellectual, philosophical thoughts have had an impact on all of mankind, perhaps BECAUSE he followed a philosophy of Stoicism and in translation, his words were written so simply…and yet to think, the thoughts we think now are not so very different from a man who was a Roman Emperor for two decades and lived 121 AD – 180 AD… A man among men, for all of time?
Let us think about the true definition of the word precious
1. an adjective meaning, object, substance, or resource of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly.
2. a noun to be used as a term of address to a beloved person.
Now let us consider privilege;
1. a noun that means special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.
2. a verb meaning to grant a privilege or privileges to.
So yes, in thinking…being alive is indeed resource of great value, not to be wasted or treated carelessly and it can even be considered a beloved. Because isn’t each life a person? A beloved person to themselves, and/or hopefully others too. Furthermore, being alive is for sure a special right! Afterall, there are advantages to being alive. The advantage to breath, to think, to enjoy and even to love…and we are granted this each day we wake! This all seems so very obvious – doesn’t it? Yet, how many of us actually ponder the meaning of our precious privilege? So often caught up in the daily acts of living, we forget to arise and think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive!
I believe Marcus Aurelius to not only have been a Roman Emperor but a man among men for all of time because in the end, he documented what we all share, this human experience…
We live a precious privilege every day. To breath. To think. To enjoy. To love.