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Aren't we supposed to toil and put off our own desires until we are too old to do anything else? Isn't that the way life is in our society? Who am I to presume that I should be able to just go sit on a beach or fish in a mountain stream just because I feel like it? What makes ME so special?

Our society is full of people who contribute without drawing a paycheck. There is no correlation between drawing a paycheck and productivity. There are also a great many people in out society who don't put off their desires until they are too old to do anything else. Those who do are society's unfortunate chumps.

Even if all you are is an example of a good human being, you're doing better than all the examples of bad human beings. It might seem like sacrificing the quality of your life for such a dubious benefit to society is altruistic, but if society requires that of you, then there is something wrong with society. The purpose of society is to help individuals avoid having to live hand-to-mouth and in fear of the more powerful, so that those same individuals can be free to "pursue happiness".

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