The Relaxed Rebel’s Manifesto

I’ve been diving back into the comforting pages of Lin Yutang’s The Importance of Living and the timeless writings of Epicurus. It’s like reconnecting with old friends who remind me of life’s most essential truths. Both of these wise souls gently urge us to:

  • Cherish the simple pleasures
  • Let go of unnecessary desires
  • Embrace tranquility
  • Discover joy in self-sufficiency and leisure

Their combined wisdom whispers to my heart, urging me to embrace a simpler, less materialistic life that brings me closer to true contentment.

I started tinkering with their ideas and mixed in some Gen X slacker culture to produce the Relaxed Rebel’s Manifesto. It goes something like this:

The Relaxed Rebel’s Manifesto

We believe in the wisdom of laughter and the folly of taking life too seriously. Like the sages of old, from Epicurus to Lin Yutang, we recognise the absurdity of the human condition and choose to meet it with a wry smile rather than a furrowed brow.

We reject the frenetic pace and materialistic values of modern society. The blind pursuit of money and status strikes us as a pitiful way to spend our brief time on this earth. We do not define ourselves by our careers or possessions, but by how well we have lived and laughed.

We aspire not to change the world but to enjoy it. Political causes and ideological crusades hold no interest for us. We embrace the simple pleasures: good food, good friends, and good conversation. We prefer a lazy afternoon to a power lunch, a dog-eared book to a glitzy magazine.

We accept our own limitations and those of our fellow humans. Pomposity and self-importance are the greatest of sins. We make no claim to moral superiority; we are all fools together, muddling our way through as best we can. A bit of humility and empathy go a long way.

Yet for all our easy-going ways, we are not without depth. Our tranquility arises not from simple-mindedness but from an appreciation of life’s joys and sorrows, triumphs and defeats. We have no illusions about life but choose to approach it with good humour all the same.

In the end, we know that we are destined, like all people, to be food for worms. And so we aim to live lightly, laugh often, and leave the world a little brighter than we found it. This is the way of the relaxed rebel. May we all embody it as best we can.

I want to play with this some more, but I think this will do for a first pass. I’m curious to know what you think, and would you consider yourself a relaxed rebel?

I do feel compelled to say that there is nothing wrong with other lifestyles. I am a live-and-let-live kind of person. To each their own.

Leave a Reply