This year, and all of the years ongoing, when a time of celebration nears; a birthday, a wedding, a death, Christmas, New Years - prepare to show your support differently.
Dismiss the material gifts in which we have been brought up to believe to be the most thoughtful of gifts by the giver and the most appreciated of gifts by the receiver, and instead, either deliver the gift of your undivided and uninterrupted presence or bless the individual(s) with the gift of study - may I suggest you do so, specifically, in the form of a physical book - a book that has stood the test of time for almost 2,000 years: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.
One of the many astounding aspects of this book - in which is without question the most impactful book on humility, mind management, and lessons on simple living (among many other values) that I have ever read - is that you can buy it on Amazon for only £6.18 ($7.14). A Starbucks coffee is on the brink of costing more, and that coffee will last you a mere five minutes before it is consumed, whilst this book, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, can be consumed time and time again until the day you depart this life.
This book truly is a testament to how we, the human race, should aspire to live. The way that Marcus Aurelius conducts himself, the morals he held and the virtues he lived with can all be studied and applied to our own lives - supporting us to become the most optimal version of ourselves that we can be, which in turn will support us to live a life worth living for.
Having read this book more times than I can recall, I can honestly say that it has changed my life, and I am certain that it can and will do so for you too - that is, providing you refrain from permitting yourself any excuses in buying yourself a copy of the book shortly after you have finished reading this article.
Again, from this moment onwards, deliver those close to you a better chance of life by no longer burdening them with more material objects than they know what to do with or where to store. Instead, bless them with the gift of being able to study daily life by purchasing a copy of this book, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, for them.
I will conclude this post with one of my many favourite meditations that are included within the writings - his very own personal journaling’s which were never intended for publication - from the great Roman emperor himself, Marcus Aurelius:
"Take a view from above - look at the thousand of flocks and herds, the thousand of human ceremonies, every sort of voyage in storm of calm, the range of creation, combination, and extinction. Consider too the lives once lived by others long before you, the lives that will be lived after you, the lives lived now among foreign tribes; and how many have never even heard your name, how many will very soon forget it, how many may praise you now but quickly turn to blame. Reflect that neither memory nor fame, nor anything else at all, has any importance worth thinking of."
Thanks for reading.