Musings, Day Six

“Not what we have, but what we enjoy constitutes our abundance.” –Epicurus

I’ve already written a brief essay about learning to be satisfied with fewer possessions, so I will try not to belabor the point again. Although I will say, that it is probably (probably?) much healthier not to be, oneself, possessed by one’s possessions. Al things are transient. There will be times when we have abundance, and times when we will suffer scarcity. We will both acquire treasured possessions and lose them over the course of our lives.

But now, is this exhortation one to the giving up of things? Or simply advice to enjoy whatever you currently have? It feels to me like a materialistic version of “living in the moment.” Appreciating in the moment, perhaps? I guess one could say, “Enjoy what you currently have at the moment. Thoroughly enjoy them, but do not let them possess you; for ultimately, they are but temporary.”

I have always had a bad habit of storing away treasured things in order to “protect” them. Rather than take them out for use and pleasure, I have tried to keep them safe, for whatever sentimental reasons might have occurred to me. Books…tableware…objects d’art…pens…notebooks…record albums…clothes…. But whither the enjoyment? What good is anything if you don’t use it?

About Michael Butchin

I was born, according to the official records, in the Year of the Ram, under the Element of Fire, when Johnson ruled the land with a heavy heart; in the Cradle of Liberty, to a family of bohemians. I studied Chinese language and literature at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. I spent some years in Taiwan teaching kindergarten during the day, and ESOL during the evenings. I currently work as a high school ESOL teacher, and am an unlikely martial artist. I have spent much of my life amongst actors, singers, movie stars, beautiful cultists, Taoist immortals, renegade monks, and at least one martial arts tzaddik. I currently reside in Beijing's Dongcheng district
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