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Musings Of A Man Who Broke His Headphones

By Mihir Mathur


I broke my headphones, with no way to repair or replace them in the near future. But because of a man who lived on the streets of Athens and Corinth about 2,500 years ago, I realized that that losing those headphones was okay.

The day that this tragedy befell me was like any other day, except for said tragedy. I was working, as usual, making frequent trips to the fridge to get a glass of water. I was engrossed in my phone as I was returning from one such trip. Mindlessly, I sat in my seat and it all went wrong. I knew that there was something under me, but it didn’t register. It was not until I heard a sharp crack that I knew that I had sat on something I shouldn’t have. I bounced back up and assessed the damage. My headphones – broken.

I was broken too. The headphones were broken in exactly the way to make them unusable, but otherwise functional. With only dried up tubes of super glue at hand, I knew that hope, for the time being, was lost. There was nothing left to do, but to cope with this loss.

That is when I remembered the aforementioned man, living like a dog on the streets of Athens, two and a half millennia ago. The man who challenged Plato. The man who lived in an urn on the side of the street, and own nothing but the clothes on his back, begged for food, but was known throughout Hellas as a great philosopher. The man who, upon meeting Alexander the Great, asked him to move because the king was blocking his sunlight. The man who is considered the father of two of the most enduring schools of philosophy.

Diogenes.



To say that he was a simple man would be an understatement. He dedicated his life to pointing out the useless excesses of society, just because he can. He would constantly try to one up many major philosophers, and derided anything that was too fanciful. He lived on the street, ate where he pleased, and lived his life without caring about what others thought of him. He believed that there the most virtuous life was one dedicated to nature. All artificial extensions thereafter were corruptions, and ought to be rejected. He believed that the life of a dog was simple, and was therefore the most virtuous. He had utter disdain towards attachment to materialistic wealth and possessions, and overly complicated abstract philosophy as well.

Thus, his was an example that we can follow in these harsh times. All our luxuries have been taken away, and will be out of our reach for some time. Therefore, there has never been a better time than now to remember the teachings of Diogenes, that one must not be attached to the things that we have lost. I have lost my headphones, but that is okay, if it means that the pain losing them can be lessened, if I can give up my attachment to them. I am sure that you may be missing some things in your life as well, but it is okay, because as Diogenes would probably tell you, that a life lived simply is a life well lived.


By Mihir Mathur



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