We live in one of the most expensive areas in the US, and if you are one of the lucky few, you own a home. The American Dream, la dolce vita, easy street. Ownership of possessions are not the bees knees however. The Marcus Aurelius quote that is this article’s title rings true as a Christmas bell. “Very little is needed to make a happy life.” The Roman emperor is still revered as a monument to service and duty. The caring for an aging parent in pain was for me a coming of age process. After it was long over, I never felt such amazing peace as the moment I was standing on the no longer used wheel chair ramp that was built for her and looking at the old oaks. I realized that life, as it is, is precious and wonderful. Through my martial arts, called Qi Gong, the body preserves equanimity in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration. This was the philisophy of Marcus Aurelius, and in doing what is natural and inspired by the season, one finds peace.Tomorrow is Christmas and I have ground poppy seeds in the family tradition with my mother’s grinder and will bring makowice roll to my mom’s ailing friend. She has waited since thanksgiving for that treat and this little thing will make me more happy than anything money can buy.