In my 35 year long, varied career as a cook, I have occasionally been described by others as an epicurean. It's a moniker I hated as it brought to mind plump, aged gentlemen feasting on quail stuffed with songbirds and other over constructed dishes. But thanks to reading "Travels with Epicurus" by Daniel Klein, I realise that I am a true follower of Epicurus' philosophy. My ideal life is lived within my own garden; sharing simple but well cooked food and good conversation with close friends, ignoring as much as possible the politics outside my garden walls. Which is a pretty good synopsis of how Epicurus lived. He was a man for whom happiness and contentment could be found in simple pleasures. A true Epicurean could be described as being selfish, but after a lifetime of "good and worthy causes", the campaigning baton has to be passed to the next generation. The American author researched his book on Hydra and he has written a wonderful discourse on why those entering their third age on this island seem to be able to accept and enjoy their maturity rather than trying to prolong middle age with plastic surgery and viagra. It's a lesson we would all do well to note.
"It is not the young man who should be considered fortunate
but the old man who has lived well, because the young man in his prime
wanders much by chance, vacillating in his beliefs, while the old man
has docked in the harbour, having safeguarded his true happiness"
"Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance"
"He who is not satisfied with a little, is satisfied with nothing"
"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not"
Epicurus 341-270 BC