What is the good life?
It can be scary to think about this. Fear and worry often creep into the answers.
Ever hear; “As long as you’ve got your health…health is everything!” Some other answers include “enough to eat,” ‘a roof over your head,” “family.”
Those are all ok but I consider them basic. Birth into this world should include the basics: adequate nourishment, shelter, physical and mental capabilities to function, some material comforts.
Unfortunately, for reasons often beyond our control, that is not the case for the entire world. Hence why our answers to what is the good life are often tinged with fear, or false modesty and worry.
There are those who have less than us, less than the basics. We fear that if we long for greater than what we currently have, it may be considered a sin and “The Lord Giveth And The Lord Taketh Away.” So, many of us downplay or hide what we think of as the good life.
I mentioned the basics – adequate nourishment, shelter, physical and mental capabilities to function, with some material comforts.
What if I were to say that the good life is having lavishness to all of these? Plenty of delicious food to eat, knowing you have a stock of good and luxurious food and the ability to get more as wanted. Or, a great and secure home, with lots of space and amenities, paid for. Optimal health, beyond your biological years, A creative mind with an expanding consciousness, and luxuries of learning, travel, experience and circles of interesting people as friends and family.
Would call me sinful for declaring this? Would you consider it greed even if in having this I didn’t take anything from anyone else?
Well, that’s how I feel about it. I have more than some, and I feel bad for them and often try to help from within my means. But I’m not afraid of having more and having better.
But you should be content with what you have. Really? You should be content with ill health, shabby clothing, a cardboard box for a roof, and enough food to keep you hungry? I disagree.
I just did a search for contentment and got this from Wikipedia, interesting insights that I agree with “Contentment may be considered as synonymous with happiness but is more basic or prior to happiness that can be derived from outer achievement or self-improvement…” I can dig that. Although it does also speak of contentment as an attitude, but as an attitude it’s often applied to negative situations, and passive acceptance of the less than or even the worst possible.
It is attachment to materiality that is the sin or suffering, not possession of it.
I don’t begrudge those that have better than I, I celebrate that they have a better life than I, or one I would enjoy as well. I’ve never been a material or spiritual threat to those who are enjoying a lavish life. I look forward to it as well.
I’ve had slumps in my life, and peaks. I really like the peaks, and when I find myself in a slump and get over the subsequent pity party we all throw, I start looking for the way back to the peak. I’m not ashamed of that. An old Zen saying goes “Seven times down eight times up!”
You can live at the peak, make your home there, or you can contentedly accept the slump and decide the gully is where you should stay.
I’ll tell you another really important element to living the good life: choice.
I choose the peak. I live the peak already, just in process of making my home there, that’s all.
How? Enterprise. I have made my own way and will continue to do so.
There are many opportunities out here to prosper, to live the good life, to live at the peak. Some are better suited to you than others, but you have to try, to explore, to at least be in the game.
You can’t win if you’re not in the game. They say the chances of winning a mega lottery may be 347,000,000,000,000 to 1, but people do play and win, a greater truth is your chances of winning one absolutely zero if you haven’t bought a ticket.
I’m not asking any supernatural being to “give” it to me, to “bless” me over anyone else, I would think that conceited. It’s no secret I’m not a “believer” in one of those. But, there is a story in one of those books called “the parable of the talents,” a talent being a form of money or coin.
In it, it’s the guy who’s content with what he has and doesn’t do anything to improve the situation that is called “wicked.” Then there’s this interesting comment:
“But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” If you’re content with an less than ideal situation, it can be made worse.
That’s from the bible. I know you can take anything from the bible and find oodles of support pro and con, I’m not saying that’s an absolute interpretation, but it’s pretty good.
So buy that lottery ticket, change your job, try a new business. Screw contentment with the gully. You have knowledge skills and power that are going to waste down there.
I’m in the middle of something to help me live better, and I’ll be sharing what it is in case any of you are looking for choice in your life and want to give it a try.
- 7 Ways Successful Entrepreneurs Think Differently From Everyone Else (businessinsider.com)