“It’s a disgrace in this life when the soul surrenders first while the body refuses to.”MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 6.29
This is a powerful quote for those of us who are considering growing old, and wondering how we’re going to maintain our strength of spirit as our bodies fail us.
In today’s chapter of The Daily Stoic, it paints the picture of Marcus Aurelius, arguably the greatest Stoic who ever lived and the inspiration for the book — but also someone who had a lot of health problems and whose body was trying to quit early. He never gave up, and he didn’t allow his soul to give up before his body did. He kept his soul strong until the very end, when his body gave out first.
And that’s how you want it. You want your body to give out before your soul does. You want your soul to remain powerful, firm, upright until the end. Your physical presence on this Earth might start to stumble, and might eventually fall down and not be able to get up. So be it — I want that to happen first, before my spirit refuses to fight.