We’re all familiar with the transcendental adage that happiness comes from within. When I contemplate for a moment my current status and recall the retail abuses in which I so gleefully luxuriated over the past fifty years, I have to confess that I have not by any measure overcome the enquiry into or pursuit of happiness. I am however convinced of the cogency of the thesis. It has to be one of the unscripted transports of old age that one needn’t buy anything (other than food naturally). We have for example all the real estate we need (which is to say, none); we have all the furnishings we shall ever hereafter require; I shall never commission another painting; nor have I any intention of visiting antique dealers or Persian rug stores; and over the years I have succeeded to purchase 2-complete wardrobes in fat and thin sizes. And don’t get me started on sterling silver utensils, Crown Derby, gold jewellery or crystal anything. I am now in the exclusive business of disposition not acquisition.
As a result my focus is by natural compulsion upon what already exists – though I admit not without a degree of smugness. This, in the face of impending extinction, is itself a huge detail. I excuse the complacency by what I consider the legitimate preoccupation with health, fresh air and sociability. Basically nothing else matters. We’re delightfully at the point where satisfaction is all that we have left in life. The time has come to acknowledge fulfilment. Nor do I believe this to be a deceit by any calculation. After a lifetime of effort devoted to improvement and accomplishment it is time to admire the produce. What I see at a glance hardly qualifies as deprivation.
it makes sense to make peace at last with one’s destiny. The likelihood of any other more stark confrontation is slim – barring that is a lottery diversion. But even then the narrowness of events favours a purely philosophic assessment.
I don’t know about you but I have always admonished myself for overlooking the plight and peril of those who have suffered misfortune. Take two people; one seemingly profits from life’s fortuity; the other appears improvident. Yet it is also true that neither profit nor loss is universal; and that within either state it is our privilege to interpret and manipulate the ingredients to one’s advantage whatever the circumstances.