I would like to talk about Epicurus and his impact on finding our road to happiness.
In my book, and throughout this website, I have talked about how the road to happiness is divided into the Journey and the Adventure. Let me focus now on the Journey.
The Journey is that segment of life from birth up to and including the “good life.” This segment stats with nurturing by one’s family, safety proved by a just society, and engagement in activities, initiated by the individual. These activities lead to friendships, familial love, and a sense of belongingness with co-workers, neighbors, and those around us. These same activities can lead to financial comfort and a sense of self-esteem and appreciation by our peers.
The catalyst needed for individuals to search for activities to join and participate in is the need for flow. Flow experiences are those activities that distance ourselves from the worries of the everyday world. These can include: reading, sports, simple conversation, the arts, volunteering, our jobs, creative endeavors, and leadership positions.
The need for flow experiences and their resulting satisfaction of our desire for belongingness, financial comfort, and self-esteem are well-respected scientific fact. The nurturing provided by our families and the safety (including education) provided by a just society prepare us for the activities that we will need to satisfy our internal desire for flow experiences.
In addition, the great religions also recognize that we are all subject to the realities of the world around us: each of us needs help from our families and the community around us to be prepared to undertake those activities that will satisfy our need for friendships, familial love, and self-esteem.
Those of us that are fortunate to have the proper upbringing and just society allowing for the pursuit of activities that lead to friendships, financial comfort, and self-esteem or the appreciation of others, will attain the “good life.” This is the end of the Journey segment of the road to happiness.
So what about Epicurus? What does he have to say? Stay tuned for the next post!