The Good Life
The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Bertrand Russell
Ahhh… we all yearn for the good life. And what do we not conjure up when we think of it? Lazy Sundays by the pool with drink in hand; a handsome meal with a lover; a Caribbean beach of white sand and turquoise ocean; a winery tour in Napa Valley; and a Paris tryst on the Seine under the stars.
Basically… the good life is perceived or imagined as floating along, without a worry, comfortably set, and open to the pleasures of being human. Time to relax, to be in the moment and to exercise self love.
The good life is separate from the daily life. The daily life demands responsibility, scrutiny, effort, and persistence. Instead of floating along as if in a river, living the daily life means repeating tasks for oneself and for others, as if following a road without an end.
According to Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), a British philosopher, to be inspired by love and to be guided by knowledge makes up the good life.
The way that I interpret that is the willingness to be open. To not have fear. To exercise trust. To be open to the people in your life. To let them in. To not be suspicious or fearful of things taking a wrong turn. To trust yourself that you’re doing your best.
This sounds convoluted and cumbersome. Unlike the good life where you just have to be. But try it! Put the good life in your daily life: be in the moment, face your fears and let go, trust that everyone like you is trying their best.
Often I think that my non-cynical, sometimes naive outlook on life stems from my sheltered childhood, growing up in the pastoral countryside of Denmark. But I’m okay with that because I believe in the good of people and in the power of knowledge. I have not obtained a wealthy status, even an established one, but I am fortunate to be part of a loving family and to continually receive knowledge through the minds of writers, artists, philosophers, and scientists.
This week there’s been much tweeting about Scandinavia and how it got great. Read the column of David Brooks – I cannot but understand myself through my upbringing in Scandinavia where education is revered and respected and brought to all. The pursuit of knowledge is commonplace and a love for community is developed.
The building blocks for The Good Life