The Odd Couple: Hallmark and Schopenhauer

card with Schopenhauer quote

I am in the process of downsizing. As I have told just about anyone who will listen (my attempt to build in accountability), I am in the process of divesting myself of much of the paper I have collected over the past five decades.

My personal goal is that when I leave this planet, I will not leave behind more than my body weight in paper. Of course, this measure does give me plenty of leeway and keeps the purge from being too traumatic.

Still, it is difficult. Especially when you work in a paper-driven profession and come from a family of savers. This personal trot through the boxes in my attic has revealed that even in high school, I was already packing away the paper.

I recently came across a cache of graduation cards from back in the day when greeting cards cost 25 cents. One of these cards, Hallmark circa 1975, bears a quote from Arthur Schopenhauer. Generally speaking, I do not associate the Hallmark brand with complicated 19th century German philosophers.

Snoopy maybe, but not Schopenhauer.

Although I am not a Schopenhauer fan (I know it’s not how you are supposed to read philosophy, but I can’t get past the things he has to say about women), I’m willing to suspend my general opinion for the benefit of the message I received all those years ago:  Each day is a little life.

I’ve lost touch with the classmate who sent me the card, but thank you, Allison Nichols, for that six word summation of what it has taken me another four decades and a serious illness to understand.

Each day IS a little life. Complete in itself. To be savored and treated as the sacred thing it is.

I wish you 365 of the best lives ever in 2017. Happy New Year!

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