If the multiverse theory is true, I would want one of me in a parallel universe to be born a Cynic.
A Cynic’s principle is simple; to achieve happiness through the barest means. Free from the shackles of worldly desires, and remain unfazed by the vicissitudes of life.
They live life in accordance to nature – from where you come, you live.
Introspectively, that would be the most ideal.
My friend once said if you had 24 hours to pack and leave, the most you would need is one suitcase… and a half; because that is all you need to survive while still retaining some sense of self. Perhaps a favourite book, or photos of you and your loved ones.
Lately I’ve been picking at myself a bit more. What are my habits?
Excessive spending. That beautiful basic black top, I must have. Even though mummy complains I have too many already. At least two a month. Socks. Socks?! I could wear socks if they were fluffy and soft enough – and look, it’s in powder pink, and on sale. I could wear pink if they were… powdery in colour.
There is always a reason to every purchase. Reasons soon turn to excuses. Excuses then abandoned as my futile attempts are replaced with defeated acceptance.
Good food. Oh, gluttony is always my favourite deadly sin. Today I spent RM12 on rice and chicken. Tomorrow I think I’ll eat noodles with dumplings. Perhaps later in the week, a plate of beautiful crispy chicken rice. I love chicken. Can’t live without it, really.
There is always a reason. An excuse. The thought of buying something with my own money excites me. I earned this, I should be able to do whatever I want with it. Who’s to tell me I can’t? This is mine. I earned this, I should be able to do whatever I want…
Pity my excitement lasts for a fraction of a second before I slip back into familiarity. My laptop to write, my kaftan, sketch book and a pencil, a good book. Where are those socks, again?
The Swedes are doing it right. Lagom, meaning ‘adequate’ or ‘just the right amount’ is a lifestyle promoting sustainability and discards excessive consumerism.
Diogenes – the founding father of Cynicism – took it to a more extreme level when he lived in a tub on the streets of Athens his whole life after being exiled from his birthplace. He criticised everyone’s social conventions and makes poverty a virtue. He tells them that it is the privilege of gods to want nothing, and godlike men to want little.
Granted, the man lived in a tub and ate on the streets.
It’s funny how we were all born with nothing once upon a time, and suddenly underwent a paradigm shift. Now everyone’s looking for more money, more things to make ourselves feel better, even for just a fraction of a second.
And… perhaps this is the part where I criticise myself, but I know that we’d all prefer the distraction. Perhaps to dull ourselves, numb our senses, keep us passive and obedient. Spruce the fluff, they say. Keep us warm and toasty.
I think to myself; Girl. You’re still so young, but not young enough to excuse yourself from this. Live within your means. Achieve wholesomeness not through materialistic crap that only serves as a brief mood lifter, but through things that serve a purpose to you. Stop getting distracted by the glitter and gold; they are worth next to nothing.
He has the most who is the most content with the least.
Tonight’s musing: Time to declutter.