“… soli omnium otiosi sunt qui sapientiae vacant, soli vivunt“, “alone among all are the idle, those who dedicate time to wisdom, the only ones who really live”, Seneca writes, thus resuming in little more than a sentence the beauty of contemplation, constructive meditation and the enjoyment of one’s own time.
Resentful and discouraged after eight years of unfair exile in Corsica, the Roman philosopher in his “De brevitate vitae” puts indeed aside for a moment his stoic approach and suggests his father-in-law Pompeo Paolino to quit his worries and public life and enjoy with epicurean lightness a precious time, lived at a slower pace away from hindrances and business and dedicated only to self-improvement.
This was actually the authentic meaning of the Roman word otium, a concept opposite to the one of negotium, to say daily chores and material activities governed by work, business and political offices, far away from the modern meaning of unproductive laziness, often veiled with reproach.
Otium was a blessed occasion, a genuine source of well-being and improvement for man, made up of good readings, meditation, discussions upon philosophy and the res publica, convivial moments and cultural exchange that favored the investigation of the spirit. A high ideal of life which human beings should have aspired to, an opportunity for a profound introspection leading to the understanding of human mechanisms as the foundation of social ones and the starting point for the definition of universal concepts of well-being which all men could have benefited from.
A relaxed moment, therefore, of priceless cultivation of the spirit that turned Time into a precious ally co-operating to an achievement that not even the most cunning negotium could have ever procured: the growth of one’s own awareness, wisdom and experience, which could then be conveyed to the fruitful service of the whole community.
We would love to think that the respect for Time and the attention to one’s self we daily commit to in our holistic hospitality activity at Villa Paradiso, Maison du Relax and in the cosmetic philosophy of Villa Paradiso Cosmetics share many traits with the beneficial Roman idea of otium.
That’s why, this summer, we want to wish you a moment of deep calmness to listen to your inner self that may favor a growth of your awareness, a generous time where our motto “remember to be happy” could not only stand out as a warm recommendation, but become a practicable daily goal of well-being, too.
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