The old legend says that Alexander The Great himself went to meet Diogenes, that great thinker who lived inside a barrel, and who everyone in Greece was talking about.
- I am Alexander The Great - he said to the wise man.
- And I am Diogenes, The Dog.
- What is it that I can do for you?
- Please, step out of my sunlight.
It takes courage to look life in the eye and make it the best it can be. It takes resilience too. To walk a courageous path, one can be forced to abandon the creature comforts that one takes for granted. Fortunately, one of the benefits of philosophy is that it teaches us how to live with a minimum of comforts and possession. Diogenes demonstrated this to Alexander by rejecting his offer of help. The sun would suffice, Diogenes implied – this and the opportunity for honest reflection. In our age of ‘luxury fever’ and ostentatious wealth, we would do well to follow Diogenes’ example, and learn how to live with minimal possessions in peace and dignity.
(Reflection from the very great Philosophy blog: http://philosophyforchange.wordpress.com )