The Greeks said grandly in their tragic phrase, Let no one be called happy till his death; to which I would add, Let no one, till his death be called unhappy.
We took a bus to the nearby monastery of one of the last great Tang dynasty Chan masters, Yun-men. Yun-men was known for his pithy one word Zen. When asked What is the highest teaching of the Buddha? he replied: An appropriate statement. On another occasion, he answered: Cake. I admired his directness.
Let us admit, without bitterness, that the individual has his distinct interests and can, without felony, stipulate for those interests and defend them. The present has its pardonable amount of egotism; momentary life has its claims, and cannot be expected to sacrifice itself incessantly to the future. The generation which is in its turn passing over the earth is not forced to abridge its life for the sake of the generations, its equals after all, whose turn shall come later on.