Wednesday, November 24, 2010


“Sir, I have never complained of the world; nor do I think I have reason to complain. It is rather to be wondered at that I have so much.”

- Samuel Johnson

We are thankful.

On the eve of the traditional feast, we recall, too, the words of St. Thomas Aquinas, which carry absurdist undertones:

“Abstinence in eating and drinking has no essential bearing on salvation: The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink… the holy apostles understood that the kingdom of God does not consist in eating and drinking, but in resignation to either lot, for they are neither elated by abundance, nor distressed by want.”

That is an essentially absurd statement, save for the references to salvation and all that. But really, living the absurd life is about acceptance of “either lot” as St. Thomas says. It is to view the world with a certain detachment, or equanimity.

Worry not about eating too much, nor make a virtue of self-denial. We recall that when the famous economist John Maynard Keynes was asked on his deathbed if he had any regrets, he said he wished he had drunk more champagne.

So, enjoy the holidays. Forget your worries. Live life without regrets. Accept what comes with equanimity.

And be thankful.

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