"You have the right to arrange your own life
under the blue sky and the hot sun,
to get a drink of water, to stretch,
to travel wherever you like....
What about the main thing in life, all its riddles?
If you want, I'll spell it out for you right now.
Do not pursue what is illusionary - property and position:
all that is gained at the expense of your nerves,
decade after decade, and is confiscated in one fell
night. Live with a steady superiority over life ...
don't be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn
after happiness: it is, after all, the same: the
bitter doesn't last forever, and the sweet never
fills the cup to overflowing.
It is enough if you don't freeze in the cold and if
thirst and hunger don't claw at your insides. If
your back isn't broken, if your feet can walk, if
both arms can bend, if both eyes can see, if
both ears hear, then whom should you envy? And why?
Our envy of others devours us most of all. Rub
your eyes and purify your heart - and prize
above all else in the world those who love you
and who wish you well. Do not hurt them or
scold them, and never part from any of them in
anger; after all, you simply do not know: it
might be your last act ..... "
- Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
(pic from shutterstock)