English Essays

Personal Cause and Effect in Greek Culture

Horace, a Roman poet is famous for his books the Odes and the Satires. In these written works, he stresses the importance of a middle class lifestyle. Not too much, not too little.

Horace believed that you could only use what you needed. Everyone ultimately dies, so why store up your food or money supply? You cannot eat more than anyone else, and a lot of money does you no good either. In contrast, it is not healthy to have too little food or wealth. Then you could no longer provide yourself with a decent lifestyle and your days will be miserable. The best way to live is with just enough to keep you comfortable and content.

Horace believed that death would be the great equalizer between all people everywhere. All will one day die, and he thought that everyone would be going to the same place. So, no matter how much you possess in material things of this world you will ultimately die, and none of your possessions can go with you into the under world.  So, just live your life to the fullest and do not rely too heavily on the wealth that you own in this world.

Horace also believed in keeping things simple. Do not make big plans, because then you will be let down when the fail. He did not want to take the chance of planning something big and exciting, then become extremely disappointed if it failed. Why make big plans when there is the chance you will ultimately be let down? Horace did not want life to be disappointing and so he did not expect much from life. If he expected great things what would happen to him if he was let down? He thought that the best way was to live life simply and then you would never be disappointed about what life brings you.

Horace also believed that it is important to make a name for yourself. Everyone is going to die, and then you will be forgotten. If you want to be remembered after you go, do something that is worthwhile and that will stay alive even after your death. For instance, Horace believed that his writing would be what he was remembered for after he departed. He was convinced that his work would stay alive even after he had been gone for a long time.

Horace’s basic message is to live a simple life. Do not become too wealthy nor too rich. Death is the great equalizer between everybody, you will one day die so do something  worthwhile that you will be remembered for. He thought that too much wealth will be your undoing. You do not need more food than any other average person, or more possessions than necessary. Why would you store up food, money and clothing if you do not need them?

We can actually learn something from Horace’s lifestyle. In today’s world, everyone is so consumed with stuff. They want the latest in fashion and the latest in electronics. They do not want to fall behind everyone else! Why? Ultimately it is worthless. You can not take any of that with you when you die and you do not need everything that you own. It is more worthwhile to instead of spending your time not attaining riches, spending your life doing some thing that will last even after you die and that is meaningful and important.

 

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