Below is the reply I made to a thoughtful piece on my brother’s blog musing upon what a “good life” is.
Being happy. But I’d also add – and doing no harm.
I’ve spent many happy hours making the music player on my PC look and function exactly the way I want it to – in fact, I’ve probably spent days doing that. No one else cares about it, no one else will ever use it, and that’s time I will never get back – but I enjoyed it and learned from it, so who’s to say it was time wasted?
Watching TV or designing music players on a PC or watching sunsets on a beach are far from a waste of time – nothing is truly a waste of time so long as you enjoy it. The important thing, perhaps, is to try different things sometimes. Break out of the norm. Do stuff that seems inconvenient. Find new things you might enjoy.
Because you won’t get this chance again.
And appreciate that you know very little and try to erode that ignorance a little. The history of humanity is the history of us slowly becoming less ignorant, and the less ignorant we become the better the lives we can lead.
But remember: in the end it doesn’t truly matter what you do, you will eventually be forgotten.
Think of it this way: how many people can you name, let alone understand, from, say, 2,000 years ago?
Very very very few.
So perhaps the only people who really matter are here, now: the people you love and cherish and admire today – the ones who will make you what you are tomorrow…