None is Enough

Seneca sprinkled his letters with aphorisms so that his letter recipients came to expect a pithy takeaway with each letter.  My favorite one speaks to a writer’s reading public and specifies the necessary number of readers: “Few are enough, one is enough, none is enough.”  If we value our own minds and are liberated from depending on the outside world to define ourselves, then that sentiment makes perfect sense.

So why write a blog? I am living proof, given the absence of followers, that one does not write for an audience; I do it for myself.  That is also a restatement of a comment by Seneca—one that I was going to use to retort to recalcitrant students if I had ever got a teaching job:  “Then why did I learn this?  Never fear that you have wasted your efforts; you learned for yourself.”  Similarly John Keats wrote: “Every department of Knowledge we see excellent and calculated towards a great whole.  An extensive knowledge is needful to thinking people—it takes away the heat and fever, and helps by widening speculation, to ease the burden of the Mystery.” Amen.

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