Tuesday, August 24, 2021

So you want to live a happy life?

So, you want to live a happy life? In Plato's Republic, Plato writes about the idea of happiness. Plato contends that one who is moral is the only one who can be truly happy. To be satisfied is but one of many parts of the perfect life, but I think it is essential. A person's life experiences dictate a person's reality of life. No two lives lived the same. What is true is dictated by a life’s reality based on life’s experiences. While others may judge your life, it is your life that you can make perfect for you. To worry what others, think, we live a life of pure disappointment. As an avid reader of the bible and Greek philosophy, I find it remarkable how much Greek philosophy is found in the bible. When Plato wrote about the cardinal virtues, we find the same virtues in the bible. Plato brought four cardinal virtues to us through Aristotle: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. God gave us three cardinal virtues. 

 1. Prudence: "right reason applied to practice." Prudence is a virtue that allows us to judge correctly what is right and what is wrong. When we mistake hate for disappointment, we are showing our lack of prudence. 

 2. Justice: "the constant and permeant determination to give everyone his or her rightful due." Injustice occurs when we as individuals or by law deprive someone of the right to be innocent until proven guilty. I believe legal rights can never outweigh natural rights. 

 3. Fortitude: We all face obstacles as we gather our life's experiences for evaluation under prudence and justice. Fortitude applied correctly is reasoned and reasonable in our quest to overcome fear. 

 4. Temperance: Restraint or the idea of seeking virtue in all that we do. There is passion, there is vice, and there is the middle road we call virtue. We should want to strive for the mean in all our desires. 

 There are three theological virtues. Corinthians 13:13: "And now abide faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love." In original Greek, the word "agape" is used. This word is translated into English as charity. I consider the highest form of love to be charity. 

 1. Without faith, virtue is unattainable. God has allowed you to live your life as to what is true to you. As a follower of Jesus, put your faith in Jesus and follow his teachings, your quest for Temperance, Fortitude, Justice, and Prudence can be obtainable. 

 2. Without hope, we can live our lives like an unbeliever in God. I tell you not how to believe, as God has allowed you to live your life as to what is true to you. We hope for union with God when our days on this earth are over, and we will be delivered into heaven as we practice faith, hope, temperance, fortitude, justice, and prudence. 

 3. The most important of all virtues is love. Without love, our time on earth will be spent lonely and afraid. Our attention to love starts with family. As parents, we should have a positive impact on our children's lives, we sacrifice so that our children may succeed, we sacrifice unselfishly. Be kind to one another, compassionate, caring, thoughtful, and render acts of kindness. When we practice this love, charity will be evident outside the home. We will be delivered into heaven if we practice love with faith, hope, temperance, fortitude, justice, prudence, and follow the ten commandments. 

 I am not a perfect man. Life is lived by risk and reward decisions every day. I have practiced justice, temperance, fortitude, and prudence in assessing the risk and reward decisions I make every day and in my interactions with others. It is the 10-commandments that bind our virtues and dictate a way to live ideally. My ideal of faith may be different than yours. Yet, it goes without saying, "I am a Christian, that is to say, a follower of Christ." Christ never asked us to worship him, that was man’s idea. 

 I am blessed to be in love with my life partner. My wife is God's gift to me, as without her, I would have floundered in eternal failure. Our family has been blessed, but not without the fortitude to practice the seven virtues and the 10-commandments. I say practice because we are not perfect in our practice; that is why we need God's forgiveness. I have overcome many obstacles in life, I am sure there will be more yet, when all is done, I can say that being a part of this family has pretty much been a perfect life. I can only hope that each of you is a part of a family that loves you. When each family member lives by this guide; odds are great that you will live an ideal life within your reality. God gave you this life to live, and you are the sum of your experiences, good and bad. You can lead as perfect of a life as your reality dictates when you are mindful of the seven virtues and the 10-commandments.

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