An Ancient Quote tale

I grew up in a small, quiet town.
Shops and schools were all nearby.
This was a feeling of reassurance for my parents.
Anxiety hit them when I finished my 3rd year of high school.
This meant that I had transfer, because this small town didn’t offer the entire program.

I didn’t have much contribution when they choose the next school for me.
It was known as the “rich people’s” school which gave my parents a again a feeling of safety.
This particular school was a one hour bike ride from our house. We did not have a bus or train station.

And indeed, 90% of  the kids looked like they come from a wealthy family.
If they didn’t do golf, they did hockey or horse back riding.
I did not fit in AT ALL.

I always arrived half an hour before any else did.
Me and one other guy.
At first we didn’t say anything to each other.
Then it was a “good morning”.
Until we eventually started talking.

One day I asked him if he didn’t feel like the odd one out in this school.
No offense, but he clearly lived on a farm and was far from posh.
He grinned and ranted about how everyone looked so uptight and probably would end up working in daddy’s law firm.

Since he was one year above, this guy became my mentor.
Each morning we met at the same time, half an hour before the others came in.
He helped me with homework.
Told me about how to treat certain teachers.
And in general how to survive the school.
He made me laugh a lot  with his impression of the standard student in this school.

One morning, after philosophy class, I showed him my homework.
The teacher gave us a quote which we had to write a report about.
Mine was from an ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu.

A Journey of a 1000 miles, starts with a single step

He started laughing loudly.
“But you might as well take the car”.

He started his rant:
“Why would you even CONSIDER walking!?
So you can impress others while I took my old car and am already enjoying end stop for a while??”

His theatrical way of speaking made me laugh.
“I don’t think “the Proclaimers” would agree with you”.

Even though it probably wasn’t the meaning of the quote, it actually made sense what he said.
He was the type of person who didn’t feel he needed to impress someone.
He was never going to walk 1000 miles to achieve happiness.

Years later I found him on the internet.
He still lived in the same area.
He got married and now has a small farm on his own.
He still has an old car.
He takes his vacations in the same old camping place.

But still.
Something tells me, he is way happier than me, who has done the 1000 miles by foot. 


This blog was written after Goldie challenged us to share a quote from Ancient Philosopher. 
As you might know, I am NOT AT ALL into cryptic and unrealistic quotes.
But I reminded this funny story of my friend who clearly wasn’t either.


17 thoughts on “An Ancient Quote tale

  1. I somehow have this feeling that you always want to achieve more and want better! It’s having goals 😉😊
    ‘Happy and Sad are two sides of a coin, we can’t appreciate happy if we haven’t been sad.’ – my very own quote that i just made up😀

  2. My cousin and I have had this conversation.
    From the same small town, I moved to Los Angeles, he stayed home, didn’t even go far for college. He misses seeing the world (I have been once to Europe, twice to Asia) I miss the simple life of a New England town.

    Oddly enough, we both know we are where we should be.

  3. This was a lovely story, we all have our own choices and i think the only bench mark for measuring happiness is ourself. What makes you happy and content might not be the same for me but ultimately – it doesn’t matter as long as we’re happy! Some of us are travelers and some aren’t. That’s how the planet was both populated and how civilizations grew. You can’t have one without the other!

  4. Completely exposed and naked to the onlooker. I wonder what motivated you to write this raw piece? Good luck to you on your ventures, I hope you come to appreciate your journey so far.

  5. How did you get into the school? Was admission based on grades, or did you have to pay a tuition?

    That was an awesome take on the challenge.

    I must admit that I have a soft spot for Greek ancient philosophers. They just speak to me more than others. I was never into Asian ones.

    We’ve had this conversation before – about us traveling/ moving far away, while our colleges live their whole lives in a small town. I could not do it, but I do agree with you – because their world is smaller, so are their worries, hence their happiness comes easier.

  6. I thought long on whether I should write a disclaimer 😉
    Education here (“in my time”) is basically for free. You have to pay a small amount, but get more from the government.
    It’s only books you have to pay on your own.

    The perks of paying 46% of tax 💪

    I always liked the ancient Greek history! Even wrote a movie script about it once with a friend!
    It was however funny take on old Greek gods.
    The God of wine was a drunk person.
    The God of music was a rockstar
    And Achilles was mummy’s boy.
    Those good old times 😀

    I agree with you. I couldn’t stay in one place either. But I am interested in only limited amount of countries and cultures.

    Thanks for creating the challenge. I enjoyed thinking back of the good old times!

  7. So why was the school you went to considered “for the rich”? I normally associate it with a high tuition private school.
    And yes, the education system in Europe is so much better than the one in the US where you have to pay a million dollars for a degree you might not need.

    That script sounds AMAZING. I loved Greek mythology.

    My Sunday is slowly coming to an end, so yours must be almost done with. Have a decent week!

  8. I am with that guy! Never would I walk the 1,000 steps to impress other people, never would I even consider it hahaha.

    You should be happy, too, Andrea!!! 💟 You have a beautiful life.

  9. It was in an area where “the rich” live and it was clearly visible.
    Things have changed here too, but not as dramatic as in the US, I assume.
    Luckily I finished everything in the “good times”.

    The script is quite cool. I was really into acting in my younger years (and I am still secretly am).
    I was supposed to play Achilles in this film 😀

    Yes, it’s almost bed time. Unfortunately.
    Decent, is the best I can get haha 😉

  10. When I taught at an adult computer school years ago, I began every class with a “Thought for today.” That quote from Lao Tzu was the one I always used on the first day of school.

  11. The comparison of myself to other people’s success is one I always struggle with. It’s hard not to be tempted to measure your own happiness and accomplishments to another person’s or even wonder if that person is living a better/healthier life than yours. I think everyone is just different in their own way. What brings satisfaction in one person may not be the same for another.

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