On the Good Life

If a man ascended into heaven and gazed upon the whole workings of the universe and the beauty stars, the marvelous sight would give him no joy if he had to keep it for himself

– old Roman saying.

I had the pleasure to spend the last weekends traveling Europe. In Zurich, Belgium and London, I found myself surrounded by beautiful friends who truly made me feel at home. What would life be without friends? Below some reflections taken from Cicero’s “On the Good Life”:

Friendship can only exist between two good men.

When a man thinks of a true friend, he is looking at himself in the mirror. Even when a friend is absent, he is present all the same. However poor he is, he is rich: however weak, he is strong. […] Even when he is dead, he is still alive. He is alive because his friends still cherish him, and remember him, and long for him. This means that there is happiness even in his death – he ennobles the existences of those who are left behind.

A good man is attracted by other good men; he wants to annex them for himself.

Scipio’s greatest wish was that all his friends should gain, not lose, in stature because of their association with himself.

You ought to give each of your friends just as much assistance as you have the capacity to provide.