What things are required for a pleasant life? Here are my answers.
– optimum health;
– as much free time as possible;
– a few dependable friendships;
– an appreciation of your existing surroundings (which can be enhanced through the basic study of astronomy, botany, architecture, culture, aesthetics, psychology, etc);
– sensual pleasure;
– the confidence to speak your mind in public (and a culture that won’t cause you problems when you do);
– purposeful and purposeless intellectual stimulation;
– a satisfying creative output, in which you have personal pride;
– a clean and dignified living space;
– a modicum of peer recognition;
– some good habits to be proud of;
– few dependencies;
– few secrets.
Not many of these things are commercially available.
This is not an attempt at fabricating a mawkish, real-meaning-of-Christmas-style consolation prize. This is what I’ve found, so far, to be true.