Until recently I was a pure misanthrope who hated humanity, and thus placing relationships low on my list of priorities. Then my cat died of cancer, and having been tricked by this cat into an experience of loving this cat, and it loving me in return, my worldview was ripped apart.
Love and relationships suddenly became a high priority. For years I had rejected the whole concept of friendship, everyone was considered an associate, never a friend. I told a number of people they were not my friend, which must have hurt them a great deal. Today, I made amends to one of those people, met them in a coffee shop, and corrected my error, saying they are my friend, which for them meant a lot.
Quality relationships according to scientific studies are the single most important thing to have for good health and a long life. Quality relationships, which they say should be at least three or more relationships, is about face-to-face relationships rather than internet versions, encouraging the production of health-giving hormones such as dopamine and oxytocin in the body.
I identify with the philosophy of Epicureanism, which was popular 300 years either side of the reign of Roman Emperor Augustus, approx 600 years in total. The only issue that stopped me from adopting Epicureanism was over relationships. Epicureans considered the ideal state was “ataraxia” that is, a tranquil contented mind, with an emphasis on quality relationships. My recently deceased cat practiced the art of seeking ataraxia every day of its life, it seems pleasure-seeking cats have a lot they can teach humanity.
Some people wrongly think Epicureanism is about hedonism, getting roaring drunk with mates at the local bar on a Friday night, rather it has more in common with talking with a friend about personal challenges of day-to-day living over a coffee in a coffee shop.