Tag Archives: Materialism

Seneca on Practicing Poverty

There is a noble manner of being poor, and who does not know it will never be rich.

– Seneca

Seneca remains one of the most admired Roman Stoic philosophers even today. As a trusted advisor in those days, he rose to much fame and fortune. Still attempting to be grounded, he preached a habit of practicing poverty. The goal was to spend a certain amount of time living amongst the conditions that many of us dread in order to reset our views towards materialism and our definition of success:

Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with course and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: ‘Is this the condition that I feared?’

Even today, we struggle with accepting that material items won’t bring us happiness (at least not for long). Perhaps poverty is something we should all practice.