This semester I am taking ethics. I really had no idea what we would be covering in this class or how we would address these topics. To make matters worse, on our first day the professor introduces us to the question we would be answering for the next 14 weeks: “What does it mean to lead a good life?”. So cliche and a pretty simple question. I had my answer before he even asked us to reflect on this idea.
To live a good life means to be able to go to bed and have no regrets or shame at the end of the day.
While others struggled with technicalities and abstract ideas I wasn’t swayed to change my definition, and yet my answer did not sit well on my conscious. Since freshman year I realized that I have two very different definitions of what a good life would be. Fostered by the competitive atmosphere at Babson, I want to make a name for myself; gain power and respect through my achievements. But my other half is yearning for freedom! I want to explore, live a life of culture not comfort.
After studying Aristotle’s idea of what it means to live a good life, I’ve learned two things. Life is about balance and you cannot be truly happy if you don’t chose your path. Those who are truly happy have the courage to ignore all the outside factors and listen to themselves For those lucky few, it’s not about what society expects from them, or what plan their parents had for them, it’s about learning and recognizing your own character and being strong enough to take the road less traveled. Unfortunately, even with this knowledge I don’t have a clear cut answer to which path will make me most happy but for now I am content knowing that I still have the ability to lead both lifestyles thanks to my education and upbringing.