He places no part of his happiness in ostentation, but in the secret approbation of his conscience, seeking the reward of his virtue, not in the clamorous applauses of the world, but in the silent satisfaction which results from having acted well.
This wisdom is coming from Letters of Pliny. He speaks about a friend, Titus Aristo, that is always happy. And where does this happiness come from? Not in fame or fortune. But, as Pliny puts it…
“…in the silent satisfaction which results from having acted well.”
This is generally true.
Happiness is complex. And many factors can ruin your day…or even your life. Yet, as a general rule, the perspective of any man is resting in his conscience. It’s resting in his commitment to virtue, or in the knowledge that he’s on the correct Highway of Life.
The stoic wisdom of Ancient Rome is an irony. On one hand, it comes from people that have been dead for hundreds of years…men that are long forgotten. And yet, the wisdom they share is timeless—it speaks to the life of a modern man.
See Related Article: Pliny the Younger on the Value of Being Prolific