A “good life” starts first by living it. This means not just surviving through time by satisfying earthly needs, but appreciating everything around (good and bad, for their value relies on their duality) and questioning such in order to look closer, or hopefully see beyond appearances. Beauty might be in the big picture, but its essence resides on the details, which can only be perceived through reflection.
However, one thing not to be questioned is happiness, since the answer rarely is satisfactory. Happiness is simply something to embrace when it happens with the right flow of life. Its own subjective and abstract nature, yet so human, makes happiness pervert towards vanities or vanish when contested.
The best way to avoid falling into the error of disrupting one’s good and happy life is by living every moment, making every decision, exactly the way you would do it ad infinitum, being truthful to oneself despite the circumstances. True freedom means to be aware of the circumstances in which one is in, and therefore be able to act upon them according to one’s determinations. Plus, if one is determined enough, all the coincidences in the events of living won’t be a coincidence, but a path leading to a set ultimate goal.
But in order to stay on the right track, common sense is demanded, as well as the virtue to find balance and the will to take the choice that is both right and the best, just because any other option, compared to this, would be inadequate. To strive to be elite (not necessarily perfect) might edge with superbia, but when practiced with a proper noble mindset it’s a powerful motivator and motor for changing in the world. Being ordinary (or mediocre) is dreadful.
The ultimate purpose is to transcend. This is achieved equally through art and science, but in their humanistic sense of service to others. Basically, the first should inspire for a better living while the second makes living more interesting. It’s only through actions and their effect on others that transcendence realizes.
To conclude, a good life simply is meant to be lived thinking of it larger than life. It is too long for regrets, and too short to hesitate, so it’s better to live it up than die it out; two very different perspectives of the same course, and a dichotomy of a philosophy. After all, living is only life’s worst danger—a risk totally worth taking.
One thought on “What is the “Good Life”?”
Thanks for this reminder of the here & now, Alex.