What is the Good Life?
Is it freedom from want, or
freedom to do as we please?
Is it leisure, status or power?
Or is it happiness,
serenity, and contentment?
Is it the same for all of us?
Let us begin our quest.
It begins by looking within ourselves;
for a good life has many aspects,
different for each of us.
As we grow, change and mature,
so, too, our ideal of a Good Life changes.
A Good Life can be an active life,
filled with purpose and usefulness,
with endeavors, challenges and friends,
and with pride in one’s work,
for even a small task is significant
in the mosaic of the whole.
With pride in our effort comes
confidence and self respect,
vital ingredients in a Good Life.
For as we esteem ourselves,
so we grant respect, kindness
and consideration to others.
Freedom from want is often
praised as ensuring a Good Life.
But does it?
Some of us recall times of struggle as
the best years of our life, times that
challenged our courage and strength,
our ingenuity, endurance and faith,
when hardship and struggle
were our taskmasters.
Indeed, a Good Life is ethereal,
unrelated to plenty or need,
for its roots lie within us.
Moderation and curiosity are
crucial in our world of excess:
moderation in action and thought, and
curiosity to explore our wondrous world
teeming with beauty and mystery.
Our life may abound
in belongings and luxuries,
alluring tendrils which enslave us.
Yet dangers lurk everywhere.
Let us gratefully enjoy
what we are given.
Possessions are not essential,
but joy and gratitude are.
Fear and worry have no place in a
Good Life. Let courage crowd them out.
Courage helps us face the world.
Courage sets us free to take risks,
free to assume responsibility,
and free to admit our failings
as part of being human.
For no one is perfect.
with all its ironies, ambiguities
Our world of diversity
begs for Tolerance:
Tolerance to allow others to be
who they are, and tolerance
to let them become what they can be.
Tolerance transcends the need
for power over others.
It is the path to
Above all there must be love
and good will toward all creation,
love toward Life itself.
Once the Good Life has been found,
it must be won again daily,
for life is in eternal flux.
Thus, in the search for the Good Life,
keep two ingredients on hand:
a flexible mind, ready to adapt to
what today may bring,
and a sense of humor
willing to smile, even
in the face of adversity.