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I'm engrossed in a book by Daniel Klein called Travels with Epicurus. Read it? Klein is a 70+ year old who travels to the Greek island of Hydra in search of how to live an authentic old age. He goes to study the old folk there, whom, he believes, live their elderly years contently.

Klein travels with a stash of philosophy books on how to live a good life, including works written by Epicurus, an ancient Greek philosopher whose notions of a good life revolved around simple pleasures and self-sufficiency (and hence, freedom). He wrote:

"Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance."

I like him. And I like Klein. His musings speak to me. And make me feel like there is hope for humanity. I sometimes get nervous about the way I'm 'doing life'. I'm not doing it like everyone else is. So many people I know work themselves to the ground in order to climb up the corporate ladder and buy bigger houses. It doesn't make too much sense to me. In times of self-doubt, you need to know someone else thinks just like you, so you know you're not being completely silly.

A passage from the book:

Aegean islanders like to tell a joke about a prosperous Greek American who visits one of the islands on vacation. Out on a walk, the affluent Greek American comes upon an old Greek man sitting on a rock, sipping a glass of ouzo, and lazily staring at the sun setting into the sea. The American notices there are olive trees growing on the hills behind the Greek but that they are untended, with olives just dropping here and there onto the ground. He asks the old man who the trees belong to.
"They're mine," the Greek replies.
"Don't you gather the olives?" the American asks.
"I just pick one when I want one," the old man says.
"But don't you realise that if you pruned the trees and picked the olives at their peak, you could sell them? In America everybody is crazy about virgin olive oil, and they pay a damned good price for it."
"What would I do with the money?" the old Greek asks.
"Why, you could build yourself a big house and hire servants to do everything for you."
"And then what would I do?"
"You could do anything you want!"
"You mean, like sit outside and sip ouzo at sunset?"