Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones. – Seneca
What does that mean?
This is a great quote for the weekend. Consider the pleasure, as some call it, of a few drinks. That can be fun, even pleasurable. Now consider making the mistake of trusting your judgement while intoxicated.
How many ways could this go wrong, and ‘injure’ your future pleasures? How about getting in a fight and landing in the hospital? How about picking up the keys to your vehicle, and then landing in jail?
We all have things we do for fun, for pleasure. I hope we are sane and cautious enough to remember to not ruin our future pursuit of pleasure by doing something stupid or reckless and overly dangerous.
It is far too easy to cause yourself future difficulties if you aren’t careful in the present. That requires a certain level of reason and prudence. Once that is done, party on, dudes!
Why is being prudent important?
There is such a thing as too much fun. That’s what this quote is about. If you end up so drunk you don’t remember how you hurt yourself, that’s too much fun. So the trick is being reasonable about it. That means having sound judgment or being sensible.
Prudence is defined at theFreeDictionary.com as “exercising good judgment” or being “careful in regard to one’s own interests.” Both are necessary if one is to avoid making a mess out of the future. But that requires being able to think, right?
So the point of being prudent is to recognize when you are about to do something which may end up hurting you immediately, or diminish your ability to have fun in the future. If you’ve ever heard the words “hold my beer and watch this!” you know exactly what I mean.
Where can I apply this in my life?
There are many ways to find pleasure in this life. I’m not against that, but far too many do not follow the wisdom of this quote. Whether it’s getting intoxicated and doing something stupid, or just doing something because someone dared you, the damage is still done.
This gets to the thought of why you are doing something. Are you really enjoying doing it, or are you doing it because someone else said you shouldn’t? Is it something you’d do after a careful and lengthy deliberation, or are you just doing it for grins and giggles?
Some things don’t need much thought, and can be done in nearly any state of mind, like crossing an empty street. Other things may stay with you for life. Like that tattoo you got at Spring Break or while on a drunken night bar-crawling your way down Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
Tattoo? Well, that may not be too bad, unless you had them put it on your neck or face, right? Or maybe your knuckles now have something obscene spelled out on them. Gloves in summertime? That will ‘injure’ your ability to have fun in the future, right?
Did you decide to get that tattoo because your mom said you couldn’t, or did you see the exact design you’d been wanting for months, even years? Is it something you’ve been wanting to do for a while, but hadn’t found the right place or the right artist? Can you see how there are differences?
We all like to have fun, but most of the more adventuresome kinds of fun involve a little risk. Whether it’s a night out with friends, a party, or a vacation, things can happen. The question is will the things you do today have a negative impact on your ability to have fun in the future?
Some people like to skydive. I have some friends with over a thousand jumps to their credit. Some are getting old, and starting to regret the number of jumps because of the wear and tear the landings place on the body. Knees, backs, shoulders and everything else takes a pounding.
I ride motorcycles, and that’s fine. I also know some people who have wrecked, and now regret the damage they sustained while having fun in the moment and doing something stupid. Their future fun is reduced somewhat, due to choices of fun made in the past.
Things happen in life. We need to enjoy it while we can, for no one is promised a happy tomorrow. But that enthusiasm should be tempered with the realization that we may just live another fifty years (or more).
Enjoy your life. Partake in the pleasures it provides you. But keep an eye on what the future may hold. Be cautious of trading the fun of tomorrow (and all the tomorrows to follow) for a great time today.
From: Twitter, @quotepage
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/seneca405092.html
Photo by Mark Tighe
- 9 Philosophies Of Happiness To Live By (thoughtcatalog.com)
- Future Gavin’s Worries – Motivational Quotes (gavinleroux.com)
- Building a Tolerance for Pleasure/Good Times (icannotbetheonlyonewhoislooking.wordpress.com)
- ‘Man of Simple Pleasures’ relating to my view on life (smnitro55.wordpress.com)