Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life

Sleepy conscience isn’t the right phrase to describe what I feel was Mark Twain’s way of saying some social mores are ridiculous. If I find a societal ‘tradition’ invalid for me (such as a marriage certificate or raising my kids on good old-fashioned lies) then my conscience doesn’t have to be sleepy to allow me to have the ideal life; I discard it. In some cases, when the tradition is deeply ingrained even while you realize that it doesn’t make sense, the sleepy conscience becomes a necessity to prevent mental turmoil.

Good friends and books are indispensible, however.

Words of wisdom

What work I have done I have done because it has been play. If it had been work I shouldn’t have done it. Who was it who said, “Blessed is the man who has found his work”? Whoever it was, he had the right idea in his mind. Mark you, he says “his work”–not somebody else’s work. The work that is really a man’s own work is play and not work at all. Cursed is the man who has found some other man’s work and cannot lose it. When we talk about the great workers of the world we really mean the great players of the world. The fellows who groan and sweat under the weary load of toil that they bear never can hope to do anything great. How can they when their souls are in a ferment of revolt against the employment of their hands and brains? The product of slavery, intellectual or physical, can never be great.

                                                                                         –Mark Twain

(This piece had me nodding my head in agreement! How many people really love what they do?)