Dingo the Dissident

DINGO THE DISSIDENT : Qweir Notions in the Anus of Diogenes, weBlog of a nearly-octogenarian Binge-thinker since February 2008.
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Tuesday, 8 September 2020

When a tiny number

of the astounding ancient Greeks
began to consider The Good Life
and how it should be lived,
they (all, except Diogenes, of course)
were not thinking of slaves or women,
Persians, Italians, Jews or Phoenicians,
but of the privileged young men of Athens
or Corinth, Mycenæ or Rhodes.

Epicurus wrote a splendid recipe
for living 'appropriately',
without excess, kindly - but he was not
considering the lives of women,
slaves, dogs, donkeys, captured enemies,
peasants or unwanted children.
                             
Few human beings
experience life as a pleasure - far less a gift,
and for most, living is not even an option
but a duty to others. It is only when living stops being
dutiful that it becomes an option - for the privileged -
to be crafted, ignored, explored or renounced.

2 comments:

Bruce said...

Thanks.

Marcus Billson said...

I am not so sure that few human beings experience life as pleasure or a gift. I spent a month in 2016 being served breakfast on a high open terrace looking up at the snow covered Himalayas. Everyday I had the same thing, the only things available, a breakfast of a flat omelet, banana toast, and milk coffee, served by young Indian men in their twenties, t-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops, who lived together in a room next to the kitchen, supporting themselves and their parents, with no hope of having their own families and children, girlfriends, or sex. I know. I asked. Yet, they would stop time and again at the railing of the terrace to look at the sky, the mountains, the gorge and valley below, the goats, the hurrying monks, and the Shangrila architecture of the houses perched on the rising hillsides. Every morning at 9 am a horde of yellow butterflies would rise from the distant plain below to the south covered and hidden by dusty gray smog and fly over our terrace. The men would run to the railing to watch, and return time and again, when they were not cooking or serving, to gaze and sigh at the beauty of the vista. Our pleasures, of course, are our own, but we take them whenever we can and as often as we find them.