We can’t imagine our lives without the unlived lives they contain
We are always haunted by the myth of our potential, of what we might have it in ourselves to be or do. […]. We share our lives with the people we have failed to be. Our lives become an elegy [ed. a poem of serious reflection, usually a lament for the dead] to needs unmet and desires sacrificed, to possibilities refused, to roads not taken. We refer to this as our unlived lives because somewhere we believe that they were open to us; but for some reason—and we might spend a great deal of our lived lives trying to find and give the reason— they were not possible. […] We know more now than ever before about the kind of lives it is possible to live. We discover these unlived lives most obviously in our envy of other people, and in our daily frustrations.
The myth of our potential can make of our lives a perpetual falling-short, a continual and continuing loss, a sustained and sometimes sustaining rage. [It] makes of our frustrations a secret life of grudges. Even if we set aside the inevitable questions—how would we know if we had realized our potential? Where do we get our picture of this potential from? If we don’t have potential what do we have?—we can’t imagine our lives without the unlived lives they contain.
I wish you endless dreams and the furious desire to make some of them come true.
I wish you to love what you need to love and forget what you need to forget.
I wish you passions, I wish you silences. I wish you bird songs on waking up and children's laughter.
I wish you to respect the differences of others, because the merit and value of each one is often to be discovered. I wish you to resist the bogging down, the indifference and the negative virtues of our times.
Finally, I wish you never to give up research, adventure, life, love, because life is a magnificent adventure and no reasonable person should give it up without fighting a hard battle.
Above all, I wish you to be you, proud and happy, because happiness is our true destiny.
- 1968 -
Happiness consists in frequent repetition of pleasure.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
To be happy is to learn to choose. Not only the appropriate pleasures, but also his way, his job, his way of living and loving. Choose your hobbies, your friends, the values on which to base your life. Living well is learning not to respond to all the requests, to prioritize your preferences. The exercise of reason allows a coherence of our life according to the values and goals that we pursue. We choose to satisfy one pleasure or give up another because we give meaning to our life - in both senses of the word: we give it both direction ...