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Keys to Living

Ancient Greek philosophers like Epicurus, Plato, and Aristotle voiced opinions about what makes a a life worth living, and the recent field of psychology called Positive Psychology, initiated by Martin Seligman, shows its debt to these ancient thinkers and others. Buddha's keys to proper living include elimination of stress and suffering, retaining happiness by attuning well to Nirvanaland. He came up with the Gentle Middle Way to systematise an all-round approach in the life-long art of living.

To aim for a happy life and to aim for a good life may be a bit different, depending on the circumstances and the meanings we put into words like "good", for example.

In India of old, the Panchatantra fables were formed to help princes in dealing with difficult problems by knowledge of ways of the world. Animals in it are used to describe and typify common human problems to assist in realistic coping of quite lasting value, and they talk a lot (Olivelle 1995).


A king who went hunting with a hunting-party. They lost their way in the woods, and at nightfall came to a humble place. The king decided to spend the night there. His courtiers were concerned about his prestige, and adviced against sleeping there, until one of them said,

"It is not the king that loses prestige by sleeping here, it is the place that gains it."

"That is a fine way of looking at it," said the king and entered the place for a good night's sleep.


Anecdote Diogenes (?412-323 BC) observed a child drinking from his cupped hands. At once he drew his goblet from his satchel and threw it away, saying,

"In the practice of moderation a child knows better than me."


The Katzenjammer Kids, detail

When you're curious, you find lots of interesting things to do. - Walt Disney

Animation offers a medium of story telling and visual entertainment which can bring pleasure and information to people of all ages everywhere in the world . . . We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. [Walt Disney]

Adults are only kids grown up, anyway. [Walt Disney]

There are books by Haim Ginott on how to respond to vital matters to children and youngsters - and we are all children and youngsters deep within, hopefully. There are many vital matters to adults among vital matters to children. (Ginott 1971; 1975; 2003).


Keys to living, Literature  

Ginott, Haim G. 1971. Between Parent and Teenager. New York: Avon.

Ginott, Haim G. 1975. Teacher and Child: A Book for Parents and Teachers. New York: Avon.

Ginott, Haim G. 2003. Between Parent and Child. Rev. and updated by Alice Ginott and H. Wallace Goddard. New York: Three Rivers.

Olivelle, Patrick, tr. 1999. Pancatantra: The Book of India's Folk Wisdom. New York: Oxford World Classics /Oxford University Press, 1999. ⍽▢⍽ A modern translation from Sanskrit, with an introduction and notes by dr Olivelle.

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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