Monday, August 11, 2008
The Pursuit of Happiness: Part I
As I was enduring a particularly horrible week, these words reminded me that I'm no different from anyone else, that my 'suffering' is not unique. I take some comfort in the thought that I am not the only one whose pursuit of happiness is rocky, confusing and painful... "As Aristotle discovered long ago, everyone loves, seeks, pursues and desires everything that they love, seek, pursue and desire for one and the same reason: because they hope it will make them happy. Happiness is the end everyone does in fact seek all the time. "This is evident in any example. No one takes bitter medicine, or undergoes a painful operation, unless they think it will heal them, and they will be happier healed than sick. "No one works hard to make profit, or a boat, or achieve victory, unless they think it will make them happy. Even working for others' happiness is what makes the altruist happy. Even the suicidal person is motivated by the desire to escape unhappiness. Happy people do not commit suicide. "Not only do we seek all that we seek for the sake of happiness; we also never seek happiness for the sake of another end. We play ball because is makes us happy, but we do not seek happiness in order to play ball. People often say, "What good is money, It can't buy you happiness." But no one says, "What good is happiness? It can't buy you money." "So, our greatest good is happiness. However, that does not settle much, for a second question arises: what constitutes happiness?."-- Peter Kreeft, Finding Black and White in a World of Grays.
Posted by Merry Widow at 1:05 PM