Goodness and Happiness
Goodness and happiness are two of the most complicated philosophical ideas. How does one define goodness? How does one define happiness? This article tries to make sense of the two concepts and picture their correlation in a very simple manner of explanation.
One can say that goodness and happiness are relative to how an individual would define them. Let us tackle the concept of “good.” How does one really define what is good? Goodness is universally defined as a virtue, a concept that goes hand-in-hand with the concept of “positive.” But there are certain moments in a person’s life when he wouldn’t really know which action is “good” to perform.
For example, when one’s loved one is in the hospital and he is enduring a very painful sickness and the doctor suggests that the life support system should be put off since the patient has a very tiny chance of making it and the expenses that would be incurred by the family if they continue to give life support would be enough to make them suffer financially for a whole lifetime. The greater good can never be really defined in such cases.
Happiness is more of a personal ordeal rather than a confusing philosophical concept, but it is also the latter. Happiness, is best defined through the words of a child, who knows not how to pretend and whose aura will be radiating when he is happy. A simple smile of a child can mean perpetual happiness. A simple joyful moment can inspire someone all throughout a sadness-infested life. Happiness is that warm feeling that one feels in his guts and makes him want to embrace the whole world with gratitude and greet all men with love and kindness.
One can say that goodness and happiness are exclusive from one another, that goodness can never really commensurate towards happiness. Perhaps this modern world of ours has been much affected by commercialism and the transient fascination towards earthly things. Today, one can equate happiness with having lots of money and with a multitude of possessions. This, as we say, is temporary. We have heard many wealthy people who commit suicide or those who have lost their minds because of their wealth. If true happiness is directly correlated with having lots of earthly possessions, then the human soul is bound to be doomed forever.
One should see behind the curtains of worldly splendor and look into the most basic needs of man. Man needs love and attention. As the song goes, love is all we need. Goodness, in its most basic form can be measured by the love that one extends in doing something. Every thing that we do affects others, and without love, we will be doing things that will more or less affect others on a negative way. Without love, there is no true happiness, and without love, there is no good.
Goodness is the true way towards happiness. Happiness is the key element in doing good. Goodness complements happiness as much as happiness complements goodness. They are two intertwined realities at we, as frail as we are, forget to look at and forget to reflect on. Underneath it all, there is love, the binding element that holds our lives together.