A Long Time Dying

“For a long life, you need the help of fate; but to live sufficiently, the essential thing is one’s character. A life is long if it is full, and it is full only when the mind bestows on itself the goodness that is proper to it, claiming for itself the authority over itself. What help are eighty years to a person who has spent his life in doing nothing? Such a person has not lived; he has simply hung around in life. Rather than dying in old age, he has spent a long time dying.” (Seneca, Letters on Ethics)