Every time I find the meaning of life they change it.
That’s the title of Daniel Klein’s book, published a couple of years ago now but one I return to whenever I’m thinking too far ahead of the here and now.
You see, Klein believes that we should all be more like Snookers, his dog, that, sadly, is now only with us in memory alone. Snookers used to think about the present, not the past, and certainly not the future; a sure way to enjoy the happiness of life in all its forms, something the great philosopher, Epicurus, would be proud of, to be sure.
Epicurus is a good friend of Daniel Klein’s, Klein having written about him previously and enjoyed his philosophical aptitude over the years. His ‘brainy quotes’ have lasted since BC (Before Christ) and he is finding his way back into popularity once again. Why shouldn’t he? After all, Epicurus is the man who said;
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.
‘Uhh’, I hear you say.
Worry not, dear friends. What Epicurus is really saying is be grateful for what you have now because it wasn’t long ago you never thought you’d get it. So don’t think about what the future holds for it might reduce the happiness to be found in the present.
Or, put another way;
Enough is never enough for the man for whom enough is too little
But that ‘brainy quote’ has a negative connotation to it and although it, too, comes from the lips of Epicurus, I’m sure even he would prefer the former to the latter.
I came across another quote this morning, from a different source altogether, my very own blog. It read;
Do we spend Life learning how to Live and the next life living the life we Learnt?
I can’t attribute this saying to anyone in particular, and certainly not Klein or Epicurus, yet I can’t take credit myself, either. Suffice to say, it has the ring of truth to it.
For the non-religious amongst us, it may be a hard ‘pill’ to swallow, but for the rest I’m sure there’s a sense of true belief in taking time to get it right just to know that this life is the dress rehearsal that gives us the chance in the second to right the wrongs we so effortlessly made in the first.
Yet for those of us that know where we are headed once we pass, (and it surely won’t be to the ingress through the pearly gates) I guess we better do as Daniel Klein, Epicurus, Snookers, and my own dog, Kahlua, would do; live life to the fullest, for we won’t see its like again.
Embrace the teachings of Epicurean thought; live modestly but well and tranquility will find you happy in the here and now. For the future comes upon us sooner than we think, and it will be the present, whilst the present as we knew it will be passed.