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I am not a philosopher by training, but I have attended a few philosophers’ funerals. One would expect these venues would be enlightening. Their longtime friends would hold forth with the deceased’s most profound thoughts. But no, that didn’t happen, and the philosophy conveyed was only the mention of a few books and perhaps a chapter title, and perhaps a pithy quote or two; nothing more. Philosophers’ funerals are like others, filled with sentimental reminiscences of what fine friends they were, how they suffered bravely, what an adventurous soul they had, and how they will be remembered forever. Dead philosophers are just as dead as Hamlet’s Yorick, but their jibes are just as enjoyable, if well remembered.

I offer these personal gleanings to you.

Epicurus 341 BCE – 270 BCE Classic Greek Philosopher of the happy, tranquil life

Epicurus 341 BCE – 270 BCE Classic Greek Philosopher of the happy, tranquil life

Life is the most absolute of all gifts. The time will soon come when I too will give it back with a hearty Thank you!

If we choose to be pleased with what we have, we are content.

The most enjoyable thing in the world is a good friend, and the best friend is a good spouse.

Helping people achieve happiness is our happiness, and their contentment our contentment.

Having what your body needs is enough for life; your wants are for entertainment.

What need is there of money, power or courage when I am content?

Why beg from others what I can provide for myself without so much obligation?

Now is the only time for happiness, or any emotion, or thought, or experience.

It is needless to worry over something which can not have any pain, like death or infinity.

Life is plentiful if you give it your full attention, participate, and be ready to let it go when the time comes.

These observations are now yours. — Enjoy or discard.