Surely peace of mind and a clear conscience are well worth pursuing. After all, our level of happiness is only increased for a little while with the acquisition of new purchases and possessions. It is only a matter of time when our happiness level returns to where it was in the first place.
Epicurus was a Greek philosopher born in February 341 BC. A great deal of what he wrote has not survived. His philosophy was to acquire a happy and tranquil life, free from worry and absence of pain.
His School, named The Garden has the distinction of being the first philosophical Greek school to admit women.
The basis of his beliefs can be summed as:
- Don’t fear god
- Don’t worry about death
- What is good is easy to get, and
- What is terrible is easy to endure.
Our group found lots to discuss about the above four points – particularly the last two. For example, what does he mean by “good” and how “easy” is it really? We found it hard to get our heads around the suggestion that terrible things/circumstances etc. are EASY to endure.
One of my personal favourite quotes from Epicurus is about the importance of friendship as seen in the quote below.
Of all the things which wisdom acquires to produce the blessedness of the complete life, for the greatest is the possession of friendship.
I once thought that the philosophy of Epicurus was all about the good things in life – fine dining, good wine and of course, good friends to share it with. I learnt that is not whole the picture. He teaches that we reach a certain level of happiness and satisfaction and then it levels out. For example, if I was to win $1m it would bring me a degree of happiness, however if I was to win $100m, it doesn’t equate that I would be 100 times happier.
The above quote emphasizes the importance of friendship. We can have all the material possessions in the world but without a friend (or many) to share it with, it could be a lonely experience. I know many people will say they would like to try that out but I think we already experience this on an everyday basis. Having a friend adds much more to our lives than money ever can.
So, I have been thinking about friendship and wondering if I am nurturing the relationships I have or if I take them for granted. Friendship doesn’t have to mean day-to-day contact, even though that is much easier today with social media. I would hope we all have friends that we can pick up the friendship where we left off after months or years of not seeing each other and it is just like we were never apart.
Even so, I will try to be little more aware of the people I call friends and hope they stay in my life long enough to be called old friends.
Image via Wikipedia
Philosophy – the study of the principles underlying conduct, thought and the nature of the universe
Wisdom – the ability to use knowledge; sound judgement
(Websters Universal English Dictionary)
I love to read about the great philosophers: Socrates, Plato, Schopenhauer and Epicurus are some of my favourites. I find it really refreshing to read about their insights and perspectives and I gain new ways of seeing the world and my fellow citizens. Reading philosophy was a life changing experience for me – a positive change. Some of their insights about the human condition are eternal and they attempt to answer some of the difficult questions in life.
I love learning and I love wisdom. I often gain little gems of wisdom from other bloggers and hopefully something I say may be useful to other bloggers in return. I started my blog purely to practise my writing skills, however it has become so much more to me. I have had a fairly interesting life so far, and I really value being able to communicate with other bloggers and share some of my life experience.
Today I would like to share some sayings and ideas that have helped me over the years. Some are deep and others are light-hearted.
- don’t complain and don’t explain – I saw this on a poster once and have always remembered it
- the Serenity Prayer is an excellent philosophy as a foundation for life and is relevant in most situations
- don’t talk about religion, politics and health matters to people you don’t know very well – they can be explosive, embarrassing and conversation stoppers
- gratification usually follows hard work and perseverance
- never rely on technology alone with your friends – friendships can be lost over technical communication failure
- I can’t eat a few almonds or a few pieces of crystallised ginger – it is all or nothing for me with these two foods
- smiling at people breaks down a lot of barriers even in multicultural situations. Everyone understands a smile.
- enforce some compulsory savings – I always make sure some money is put aside before I ever get my hands on it
- no-one is ever entirely good or entirely bad – most of us a somewhere in the middle
- another saying – don’t throw your pearls before the swine – to me this means to be careful with sharing personal information as some people will not respect it
- a practical tip – buy a packet of several nail files and keep one in the following places: your purse; your handbag; your office; your bathroom; your car; your bedside table etc. They are not expensive so why are they never around when you need one?
- do stuff when you first see that it needs doing – this becomes a habit and it means things don’t build up into really BIG tasks
- live and let live – respect other people’s right to think and act differently than you do
- remember that whatever you are going through right now, it will pass, given time
- try to remember people’s birthdays as it means a lot to many of us. I forgot a friend’s 50th birthday recently and I can’t undo that
I hope that you will share some of the sayings that help you in your everyday life. It may be something that I really need to hear today 🙂