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A Taste Of The Good Life

977 words - 4 pages

Some people are pleased by the presence of material items and a large group of friends surrounding them throughout their every action, but that is not entirely satisfying. A “good life” is one that provides fulfillment and, consequently, happiness. This type of life cannot be achieved solely by material gain nor popularity, but instead by assisting others.
Material items are always going to be desirable, but helping others provides a greater sense of happiness than a brand new 40-inch television set. Aiding others can move beyond making a person smile, it can even save a life. In the article “The Singer Solution to World Poverty,” Peter Singer provides the audience with a summary of the ...view middle of the document...

Maybe you’re not defeating villains like Batman or Superman, or even saving a young boy from being murdered, but a starving child in Africa will not know the difference between that and a warm meal for the first time in his life.
Many people, particularly Americans, know that helping others is the first step to living a good life and feel guilty that they cannot help. The problem with this is, however, that he or she can help, it just takes a greater sacrifice. In the article “Lifeboat Ethics: The Case against Helping the Poor,” Garrett Hardin states, “Some say they feel guilty about their good luck. My reply is simple: ‘Get out and yield your place to others.’” In other words, certain assistance requires one to turn their life around in order to bring about any sort of change. For example, to prevent a person from becoming poor, one must give that person their life: their job, money, house, car, bills, etc. Naturally, this sort of sacrifice is not expected of everyone. However, if a few people work together to make small sacrifices, a similar instance could result, leading directly to a sense of fulfillment and happiness.
The good life is not achieved entirely by self-abnegation. A bit of self-interest and indulgence is to be expected within one’s life, and can be quite beneficial to one’s self. In the piece “The Happy Life,” philosopher Bertand Russell states, “Undoubtedly we should desire the happiness of those whom we love, but not as an alternative to our own.” In this line, Russell is stating that you should not trade your own happiness simply to help another. Basically, if helping others does not please you, you should not work hard to do so. Helping others is still important, but it should not be...

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