In our first collection the Ayọ Design Studio presents “Pursuit of Wisdom”. A collection of sweatshirts dedicated to the individuals that impact our personal day to day lives. A Champion sweatshirt with “Seneca” screen-printed in classic college-style lettering. This inaugural release celebrates the renown ancient Stoic philosopher.
Who Is Seneca?
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, known simply as Seneca, was a stoic philosopher, politician and tragedian. Born over 2,000 years ago in Spain, Seneca was a man of mixed reputation.
On one hand, we have his writings, which are both practical and timeless. Using a search for wisdom to navigate the inevitable ups and downs of life. On the other hand, there were many inconsistencies between his principles and his life.
For example, Seneca had a tendency to engage in illicit affairs with married women despite his long-time marriage, and his rather un-Stoic proclivity for hypocrisy and flattery, have sullied his reputation. Take for another example, In 65 CE, Seneca was entangled in a conspiracy to kill his pupil, the legendary despotic Roman Emperor, Nero. Although it is unlikely that he was actually involved in the plot, he was ordered by Nero to kill himself.
Like most of us, Seneca lived through ups and downs. Although no one at Ayọ has been exiled to an island or tutored by a tyrannical emperor, we have experienced breakups and have worked for people we didn't respect. This is how many of us first came to discover stoic philosophy, and some of its approaches have been life changing.
Seneca and another famous stoic, Marcus Aurelius, used philosophy to live. They wanted to know how to use wisdom to navigate the inevitable pitfalls of life. The lessons you can draw from these works are timeless — that’s why we salute Seneca apart of our "Pursuit of Wisdom" collection.
Here are some of our favorite quotes from Seneca. Hopefully, they’ll inspire you to dig a little deeper into the mind of this great thinker.
“Time discovers truth.” — Seneca
“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.” — Seneca
“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.” — Seneca
Although seen by many as a hypocrite it's important to note that Seneca was self-aware. As he wrote, “I am not a wise man and I never will be.”
He understood well enough that he was imperfect and was forced to walk incredibly difficult paths. His life was one of riches, power, ambition, politics—but also one—to the best of his extent—of philosophy, introspection and self-awareness.