I came across a little anecdote that made me pause and re-think happiness….with and without things.
The anecdote was titled: Socrates and the Market Place
True philosopher that he was, Socrates believed that the wise person would instinctively lead a frugal life. He himself would not even wear shoes; yet he fell under the spell of the marketplace and would go there often to look at all the wares on display.
When one of his friends asked why, Socrates said: “I love to go there and discover how many things I am perfectly happy without.”
Great thought. How many things am I perfectly happy without? I started to make a list.
- a new car (I have been fighting ferociously to keep my old Green Vue hobbling along for as long as it can and for as long as I can keep away from monthly payments, higher insurance and taxes.
- a new house (Slowly but surely I keep putting bandaids on my house periodically to keep it structure safe…because I love my home, neighborhood, friends, and garden….it is the place I have renovated over the years making it reflect who I am…it is the place I call home…my sanctuary, my happy place!)
- jewelry- (I love meaningful jewelry from friends or jewelry that holds memories…but “diamonds” are not my best friend.)
- being rich- (I honestly don’t think I was made to be materially rich…because I would have had to give up too many more gifts more precious than money….creativity, perseverance, and knowing I am loved for who I am…not what I own.)
- more technology- (I really don’t like keeping up with the latest tech gadgets even if I could afford them…give me my old television with PBS, my old desk computer, my basic iPhone and I am perfectly satisfied.)
On the flip side…what I couldn’t give up….family, friends, and books
“The most important thing is to enjoy your life- to be happy…it’s all that matters.”
“I believe tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”
So until tomorrow…Whenever you feel happiness wash over you…stop and reflect on what has caused that feeling…was it a nice comment, an act of appreciation…Whatever it was…there were no dollar signs attached…simply feelings of belonging and acceptance. Financial gifts might make me feel relieved…but never the level of happiness as feeling loved.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh