A few notes on happiness

The Two Sides of the Happiness Coin are:

Happiness
is the exercise
of one's vital abilities
along lines of
excellence
in a life that affords
them scope.

Happiness
is the building up
of vital relationships
based on faith and
family
in a life dedicated
to service.


"Eudaimonia" is the Greek word commonly translated as happiness or welfare.  Aristotle used it.

Aristotle

What Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) said about Happiness  (from www.pursuit-of-happiness.org) - Has a nice overview at the beginning.  Then it goes into more and more detail (lots of good stopping points, if you get tired reading.  There is a nice Summary at the bottom.

Bible

Psalm 16:11: You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

John 10:10-11, 14 [Jesus said,]
10“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,”  (ESV)

In Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus gives the two great commandments
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

In Colossians 3:12-14, Paul, in his discussion on living, he seems to hark back to Aristotle, but then gives the real key:
"12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."



Relative to the “life that affords them scope” it is good to remember Abraham Lincoln’s advice to “sharpen the axe” (for Stephen Covey, it’s a saw to keep sharp).

By Jim Olsen