The great Greek philosopher Plato (427-327 BCE) maintained that happiness is the highest aim of moral thought and conduct because there is nothing after that! When we do something, we can go on asking, but why? When the answer is 'because it makes me happy', there's really nothing to question beyond is there?
[Image courtesy Britannica Encyclopedia; Plato, marble portrait bust, from an original of the 4th century BCE; in the Capitoline Museums, Rome.]
We are witnessing devastation and tragedy of unprecedented proportions due to the corona virus pandemic. All of us are taking precautions. Many of us are in areas where the current situation is moderate but the threat of a spike or cluster of cases occurring overnight
Many of you are living in areas where the threat is very very real. So in such a situation, Plato's words on happiness has greater significance. It may look trivial and upsetting to be talking of happiness in such times, but we are all a product of our times and we have to find ways of coping don't we?
Happiness does not mean laughing and going ha-ha. That's good too, but the happiness I refer to is more about seeking a greater sense of peace within us. We're all doing small things to make our everyday lives better, even as we brave our reality with jobs and paychecks and caring for our older generation and our future generation. QVW member @kellykee.chow turned her living room into an F1 track (see her post in the Social Distancing category on the Forum). My son and I play a boxing game on Nintendo, I lose every time (the game is stupid, obviously!!) and my mother has started to practice her music again....
I am sure you all have started to do something in this down time and I'd love to know what each of you are doing, please use the comments section below. But I wonder how many of these things will stay with us once things return to normal- will we pack up our new hobbies (or old hobbies which we revisited), and get on with our lives? Or will we have imbibed the new things into our everyday life so that it stays on in some form? Maybe not a full blown F1 track but a different version of it? Maybe I'll get so good at the boxing game that I'll take up proper kickboxing? Will those of you who took to learning to cook, paint stick to it?
I hope we all do. Mainly because it makes us happy. Maybe we started it as a means to kill time, to stay sane and connect with our family. But it makes us happy in the process. As much as we will all be thrilled to be allowed to move around, get back to our jobs and our routines, I hope we remember how happy these things make us and find ways to include that in our everyday lives, so that we have something to look forward to, and not allow life to become humdrum again!
As Plato said, there really is nothing above happiness!!