Aussie MP Julia Banks says she could live on $40 a day if she needed to. And the common criticism of her is “Well, why don’t you?”
Banks comes from a wealthy blue-blooded heritage and she can probably afford to live of $4000 a day if she needed to.
But this criticism of her, telling her to ‘do it then’, is the exact same that Seneca faced. He had enormous wealth, one of the richest men in Ancient Rome, while he espoused the value of living as simply as possible, and sometimes preferably, in poverty.
But it’s not that she says she wants to (live off 40 bucks a day), it’s that she could. And living in poverty when you don’t necessarily have to is dumb. It’s the understanding that should you have to, you could.
That comes from a life of understanding yourself and what is truly important (and what you truly need).