Pretty Cheerful

Some personal thoughts on universal themes

The Land of Plenty

As I attempt to clean and make some order out of the chaos of clutter in my house, I feel very fortunate.

I live in my own personal land of plenty.  Every hobby is completely supplied.  For knitting, I have many skeins of yarn.  For scrapbooking, I have many colorful papers.

I have collected shelves and shelves of very interesting books.  I have enough reading for the next 10 years or so.  To me, the interesting books also mean inspiration.  So, I feel lucky to have acquired 10 years worth of inspiration.  This shows how rich life can be.

I may not have everything figured out, but I certainly can’t complain.

The richness and complexity of life is awesome because it puts to rest my worst fear, boredom.  I guess having a fear of boredom says something about the luxurious era I live in.  I’m no longer fearing actual survival, I am fearing what happens after I know I can survive.

There’s a quote from John Adams that keeps me from feeling too terribly guilty about my good fortune:

“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.”  John Adams

(Let’s replace “sons” with “daughters” or “daughters and sons.”)  I am part of the generation that gets to study art and music, and basically whatever I want, because so many people worked really hard before me.  And the more work I accomplish well as an adult, the luckier my future children will be too.

So, as I realize that I may need an additional large bookshelf, I feel incredible good fortune.   Although many people are facing economic hardships currently, I think our era in general means a wealth of interesting reading, music, and art.  Many of my books I found at a used bookstore for a very reasonable price, and many classics are now available for free online.

Since I get to enjoy absolute freedom to read as many interesting books as the daily hours allow, I am going to respond by feeling gratitude for my good fortune.  Hopefully in the future I will have opportunities to share good fortune with others.  I think richness and wealth don’t actually have to cost that much money.  And, most people do not feel true wealth unless they have friends and family to share the interesting ideas with.  To me, true wealth means having the materials to be inspired and live enthusiastically each day.


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