That The Wise Man Is Content With Himself

Ricardo Guaderrama Caraveo
4 min readOct 6, 2022
Photo by Colton Duke on Unsplash

“And this is what we mean when we say the wise man is self-content; he is so in the sense that he can do without friends, not that he desires to do without them When I speak of his being ‘able’ to do this, what I am saying in fact amounts to this: he bears the loss of a friend with equanimity.” — Seneca

I lost all control, and all that gave me was deep regret.

I had a trip with my brother a couple of weeks ago. We took a hike close to the city and had a great day outside. The initial plan was to stay in the little town by the trail, but, we were tired and thought that it would be way better to get back to the apartment without spending more than necessary and having a mighty “Norteña” ( a big ass taco sold in Mexico City). And so we took to the city again.

It was night already. I was driving and discovered I didn’t have any cash. This is an essential part of the story. In Mexico, when you are using its highways, you need to pay, and you need to pay with cash if you want to use the nice ones. You can use the free highways, they just take longer and are generally uglier. I figured I would be able to use the free highway, but the more I drove, the more preoccupied I was getting that we just couldn’t find the deviation out of the tolled highway and into the free one. We couldn’t find any place to take cash either.

I had always wondered what would happen if you arrived at the toll without any cash. These guys don’t take cards, just cash. And well, I found out that day.

When I am tired, as well as anyone else I guess, I get nervous. When I arrived at the long, long, long line for the toll, my reaction to the situation was an embarrassing and weird combination of anger and fear. It was a combination of repressed anger toward my brother because he didn’t think about having cash for the tolls, anger at myself for being such a cheap bastard, and not wanting to take cash out of my debit card. In short, I lost it, in an embarrassing way.

Of course, the situation was solved, messily, but rather smoothly. The toll guy told us we couldn’t pass and that we needed to head back to the closest bank, 1 hour and a half hours away. We had a huge line of cars behind us, all of them yelling at the traffic stop (caused by us). I had to reverse, all…

Ricardo Guaderrama Caraveo

Mountaineer, writer, Stoic, Gryffindor.