June 17

“Does virtue alone make us happy? Why of course for when we are placed beyond the reach of any desire, what can we possibly lack?” – Seneca

Being happy with what we have is a common platitude in today’s society. But the idea that wanting for more, desiring more, wishing for more, is exactly what keeps us from being happy is a truth hidden within the platitude.

We would do well to stop wishing for more. But to stop wishing for more without resigning ourselves to becoming complacent about getting better is a skill that will take a life time of practice. A way to begin this practice would be start at a level of absurdity and then move backwards from there.

Most of us are never going to own a penthouse apartment in a major city that we travel to and from in a helicopter we own. Moving further back, most of us are never going to have a driver who picks us up and ferries us to and from work. And of course most of us are going to be ok with this situation, because we can do nothing about it. As we move closer and closer to our current situation we will hit a point where we will reach some level of luxury we hope to attain one day. What will it take to get us there? Are we willing to do those things without compromising our integrity? If the answer is yes, then we should start towards doing those things. And we should be satisfied when we get there. If we get there.

There’s nothing wrong with taking an opportunity when it is presented to us. There is nothing wrong with making our own opportunities when we can. But there is no reason for most of us to be pining away for the private helicopter, penthouse apartment world we will never attain. It is a waste of time. Time that could be spent becoming better people.

That we can all attain.

virtus fortis vocat

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