Assignment #1: Happiness

“Nor, again, is he many-coloured and changeable; for neither will he be moved from his happy state easily or by any ordinary misadventures, but only by many great ones, nor, if he has had many great misadventures, will he recover his happiness in a short time, but if at all, only in a long and complete one in which he has attained many splendid successes.”

10, second to last paragraph
Aristotle. (350 B.C.). Nicomachean Ethics. (Book 1). http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.1.i.html

 

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In Your Own Words:

I believe that this paragraph is explaining that small events in life can not make someone permanently happy or unhappy. It is possible for someone to be happy one day and then unhappy the next, depending on certain situations. If someone is having a bad day, it doesn’t make them permanently unhappy. Everyone has good and bad days, ups and downs. It’s part of life. The paragraph says that if an individual were to have many great misadventures, it is most likely that happiness will not recover in a short period of time. In other words, if someone has had multiple misfortunes throughout their life, it is likely that the person is unhappy. If someone has had multiple good fortunes throughout life, that person would be considered happy and it would take a lot of misfortune to make them unhappy. The state of happiness overall is not easily changed.

Opinion:

I completely agree with this paragraph. Each day in our lives is different due to events that can alter our moods and depending on those events, we can either be in a good or bad mood. Everyone has good and bad days. Each person has different opinions on what puts them in a good or bad mood, just like every individual has a different view on what makes them happy. If someone was to have continuous bad days or misfortunes for a long period of time throughout their life, it is likely that person is unhappy. If someone was to have continuous good days or good fortunes for a long period of time, the are most likely happy. Even though some people may have more good fortune than others, life is too short to be unhappy all the time. Even an overall happy person has bad days and that is what the point of the paragraph is. We need the bad times to make us stronger, nobody’s life is all good fortune.

Questions:

I agree that the ultimate goal for all people is to strive for happiness. What makes a person happy is different for everyone, but in the end, all everyone wants in life is to be happy. To some people, happiness comes simply and easily but to others, in can be a struggle. Notions of happiness are definitely different based on gender, class, race and culture. Both men and woman have similar goals in life like having a good career, getting married, starting a family, ect., but there are differences in what makes them happy. When it comes to wealth, some people think that having a lot of money makes people happy. For some it may, but at the same time, someone can have all the money in the world and still not be happy. Obviously having nice things is great but that’s not all that matters. Someone can be filthy rich, but what if their lonely? Some people would rather have a family to take care of and spend money on than be lonely. It all depends on the person, and that is why happiness comes differently to everyone. My concept of happiness is that you have to appreciate what you already have, instead of always wanting more and more. People who find themselves always wanting, can never just enjoy life in the moment. Some people take life for granted. Of course, wanting more isn’t always a bad thing. Everyone has goals they want to achieve, places they want to travel, things they want to see. You just have to take life one day at a time. I believe that Aristotle’s definition of happiness is useful to understand the moral motivations of people because at some point in our lives through time and experience we will figure out what we are good at and what truly makes us happy.

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4 thoughts on “Assignment #1: Happiness

  1. First off I love your picture that says don’t let one bad day ruin your life it truly is an awesome picture and has a lot of meaning. Secondly I truly agree with your point that everyone wants to be happy. That is the ultimate goal in life right? I think your point about those with money not being as happy as those without think they are is an amazing and from what it seems true point. Money doesn’t bring happiness and I think your point is well made here. I think your way of looking at different people being happy in different ways is very similar to mine and I think the fact that you made me think of it in a different light is truly awesome! 🙂

  2. I absolutely loved your post! Although we took out different quotes, I think our views are very much alike on happiness. We are all bound to have bad days, and that is just a part of life! I guess how I see it is are we going to let those bad days define us? Or, are we going to learn from them? Sometimes a bad day can be a learning experience. We can then move on, realize why it was a bad day, and maybe even try to avoid it in the future. I know last week I was having a bad day because I am a commuter and it was impossible to find a spot at 9:00. I only gave myself a half hour to find the spot and I was so worried I wouldn’t make it to my class on time, because I teach the class. The rush of finally getting to class after being so frustrated really made me in a bad mood, and my day was not looking so bright. But, I learned from this and left earlier so that I could make sure this morning struggle would not ruin any more days. I love your quote “Don’t let a bad day make you feel like you’ve had a bad life.” Sometimes, I know I do this too, a bad day makes us feel so negative. But, the most important thing about a bad day is picking yourself up from it and trying to make the next day better!

  3. Interesting thoughts. I liked your observation about chance and luck. You can want and strive for the best, and then all of a sudden you are out of luck. Life can play strange things on us. And how can we understand happiness within this context?

  4. I think many of the points you made in your post were similar to those that I made in mine. Someone once told me, “what makes you think you can be happy with more, if you can’t even find happiness in what you already have?”. I thought that was really insightful. We live in a world where money and material objects are viewed as happiness- but like you said you can have all of the money in the world and still be lonely as hell. In my opinion, finding fulfilling personal relationships, being content with who you are and being content with your relationship with yourself and God is what can really bring true happiness. Great post!

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