Describe The Good Life

Course Guide


Write a short essay on what virtues you would use to create your good life.


 Example Essay on the Good Life

         Even though the good life might be a whatever life, it is  good if  I  can create it and revise it.  Assuming this, I will describe those aspects of character which encourage my good life.  I will not dwell on those that do  not.  The virtues  I must have to create and revise my life are courage, generosity, a sense of humor, and love.

       Courage (guts, backbone, control of fear, open-mindedness, acceptance of diversity) grows when I balance my self acceptance (knowing my limits) and my self regard (doing what I can do well).  Without courage, I will not make the effort to learn new things, acquire resources, and put my plans into action.  I will  try no new foods, meet no new people, nor maintain my health or commit to and keep friends and a mate. Simply,  I would fail to raise the bar on my humanity.

         Generosity (the milk of human kindness, forgiveness, patience) grows when I see and feel ashamed of my unfair treatment of others, when I see my hypocrisy, and when I see myself act thoughtlessly and in haste. Without generosity, I will never learn to forgive myself or others.  In this sense generosity is the fuel for courage's fire. If I am forever afraid of another's blow, I will fear to trust.  Without others, little life can be created and revised.

         A sense of humor (the world is a great stage, we are but characters on that stage, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing--the Bard) grows when I learn to laugh at myself and understand that chance and change are constant human companions. I can learn from my mistakes. Without a sense of humor,  I will hide from the facts, turn away from the truth, lay blame on others,  give up to reason, and turn away from my art.

         Finally, love.  Love is as Spinoza says "a capacity to action and the power to exist."  Love is the strength to enjoy my life, to do, to create, to care for, to maintain.  Love is my desire for food, knowledge, music, friendship, truth. And joy is my love's satisfaction. Love is joy transparent.  Love is my source of happiness and the good life.