What constitutes a good life?
There are probably as many answers to that question as there are eyes to read it, and yet I can’t help asking it. At some level we are fixated with achieving it, but on the other hand often frustrated in both our ability to define it and our effort to achieve it. Happiness seems fleeting and elusive.
Yet happiness and “the good life” are much closer than most of us realize. It is tempting to begin by describing the characteristics that may lead us to be happy. Our political and religious leaders are sure to have ready answers, but in the richest country on earth, we have lots of unhappy people. However at the risk of sounding overconfident, I am pretty sure I have the answer.
My parents just celebrated their 50th anniversary. That is an impressive milestone and did not come without a tremendous amount of hard work. I have seen my parent’s relationship for years, and they don’t have much in common. I know this sounds like a strange way to begin, but hear me out.
My dad loves to work. He always has a project, or 10 projects, going at once. In addition to the business he has, he is always remodeling, re-landscaping, or re-doing just about everything around the house and even at other people’s houses. He is also reserved and quiet unless you ask just the right question. He would be happy being left alone with a good book.
My mom on the other hand, loves to plan events where lots of friends and family come together and have a fun time. She loves to laugh and watch as people enjoy the outgrowth of her plans. She would much rather be in the middle of a bustling group than bored alone at home. Her idea of fun always involves friends, family, and free time. (more…)