The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.
For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.
I had been looking toward the Encouragement above the TV, a drawing of an angel with the caption Without Pain, How Could We Know Joy?
(This is an old argument in the field of Thinking About Suffering, and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries, but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not in any way affect the taste of chocolate.)
“There’s a Spanish proverb,” he said, “that’s always fascinated me. “Take what you want and pay for it, says God.’” “I don’t believe in God,” Daniel said, “but that principle seems, to me, to have a divinity of its own; a kind of blazing purity. What could be simpler, or more crucial? You can have anything you want, as long as you accept that there is a price and that you will have to pay it.”
The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.
Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Attributed to Plato
This pops into my head every now and again, and it’s not a bad thing to remember.
And she hoped, anyway, that he would come to find what she had found, and feel what she felt, which was that there were always going to be intimations from the world that there was more to be had, something different and something better, beyond what they were sharing together. It was his loveliest gift to her, and one she was trying as hard as she could to give back to him, the special and certain knowledge that those intimations were just life trying to fake you out again, when in fact it didn’t get any better than this. It didn’t get any better than the two of them.