Living longer means you may live to a ripe old age, if you just don’t die. Is this really a blessing? Well, that depends on your state of mind, which is essentially your own perception of your life experiences. As aging continues, everything in your life begins to disintegrate and disappear, whether you like it or not. The reality is that you must learn to let go of everything. Take the example of Ann Russell Miller.
Ann Russell Miller was a celebrated socialite from
, also known as Sister Mary Joseph,
She, who had ten children and nineteen grandchildren, had grown up in luxury
and privilege, and had been living a life of incredible wealth. Instead of
shopping at San
Francisco Saks Fifth Avenue,
and decorating herself with jewelry from Tiffany, she suddenly and surprisingly
decided to give up everything, and became a nun devoted to living in poverty
for the rest of her life.
That unbelievable event happened more than two decades ago, and was then widely reported in the media across the country. Why did she make such a drastic and incredible change in her life? She said she had a calling, a true vocation that was hard to understand for the general public, even for the close members of her family.
Ann Russell Miller just wanted to live a simple lifestyle, deleting all the trimmings of life and living, as well as all the attachments that she wanted to let go ot.
Do you have a lot of attachments to the material world you are living in right now? Take a look at your garage and basement. If they are packed full and loaded with many disposables, then probably you still have many attachments you are unwilling to let go of. Attachments are clutters that bring memories you are unwilling to let go of—memories that are reminiscent of your past accomplishments.
If you wish to be happy in your golden years, just live a simple lifestyle.
Epicurus, the famous Greek philosopher, had this advice on how to lead a happy life: avoiding luxuries, and living simply. The explanation is that luxurious living may make you into a “needy” person whose happiness always depends on things that are impermanent and easily lost. When they are lost —because nothing is permanent—you naturally become unhappy and even depressed.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau