SolitaryRoad.com

Website owner:  James Miller


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On pleasure


   I look around me and see everyone treating themselves.  They 
   treat themselves to this and they treat themselves to that.  
   They treat themselves to ice cream and soda and candy and cake.  
   They treat themselves to nice clothes, expensive cars, big 
   houses, expensive vacations, pornographic movies, illicit sex.  
   You name it.  They have thought of it and tried it.  Me?  I 
   don't watch TV, don't have a cell phone.  I sleep on the floor 
   and walk 5 miles a day.  I don't drink sodas, don't eat cake, 
   mostly stay away from sweets.  I drive a 14 year old Toyota 
   truck and buy my clothes in Goodwill.  And it is not because I 
   couldn't afford expensive clothes, big houses and fancy cars.  
   I could.  Much more than the vast majority of people.  But I 
   live as I do by choice.  It is a personal discipline.  I live 
   simply and frugally -- by choice.  It is not because I am just 
   against pleasure.  I am not.  I think there is a pretty good 
   reason behind just about every habit and way I have.  Most of 
   my ways and habits I have come to gradually over a period of 
   years.  The truth is most of the pleasures in life have costs 
   and risks.  I have looked at the costs and weighed the risks.  
   Most people would look at me, think I lead a very Spartan life, 
   and wonder if I get any pleasure out of life.  They might 
   wonder how I could be happy.  Well, I do get pleasure from life 
   and am happy.  But the pleasures I get from life and the 
   sources of my happiness are different.  What gives me pleasure?  
   Hard work.  Accomplishment.  The pleasure of doing a job and 
   doing it well.  The pleasure of success in doing difficult 
   things.  The pleasure of hard study and learning and expanding 
   my mind and horizons.  The pleasure of thought and reflection 
   and the pursuit of truth and understanding.  The pleasure of a 
   quiet walk in the woods.  The pleasure of a cold glass of water 
   after some hard manual work out in the sun on a hot day.  The 
   pleasure of life with a life companion that I care about and 
   who cares about me.  The pleasure of talking to and dealing 
   with an honest and good person.  The pleasure of a life lived 
   under a good conscience.  These are the things that give me 
   pleasure.  These are wholesome pleasures.  They do no harm to 
   myself or to others.  And they have the approval of God.
   

   Sept 2007
      

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