This week on our homeschool essay tour through Invitation to the Classics, Haley and I have been reading about the legacy of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle on Western thought and civilization. Much of what we’ve discovered in our reading and discussion led us back to biblical truth. It is clear to see that God prepared the soil of the western Greco-Roman world to receive the seed of the Gospel where minds were already schooled to think and reason in a search for truth. Unlike the cultures of the east. Here are Haley’s thoughts on the topic regarding Aristotle’s remarks on man’s search for happiness.

Should happiness be the ultimate aim of all our striving? 

Essay and Meme by Haley Richardson

Every human being has, at one point or another, been faced with an overwhelming urge to fulfill their selfish needs. This is human nature. We are not a perfect species. There is a difference in mindful behavior when it is being used to a personal advantage instead of for the benefit of others.

Many seek out happiness as if it is something capable of being instantly attained. Perhaps some find ways for immediate happiness, but those who do should bear in mind—there exists no such thing as simultaneous lasting and immediate happiness. Those who acquire such temporary happiness are the ones constantly striving for it thereafter, as if self contentment is the ultimate goal. However, it is the ones who patiently work toward magnanimous goals, who find bliss in their fairly acquired triumph. These are the ones who attain and maintain euphoria.

To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness,

but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth

to hand it over to the one who pleases God.

This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 2:26

We should think of happiness not as a goal, but a benefit received by accomplishing benevolent goals—goals not achieved for personal benefit, but for the profit of others. Then and only then can we experience true happiness.

I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy

and to do good while they live.

Ecclesiastes 3:12

Each week I share one of my homeschool student’s essay writings from our continuing overview study of Western literature and thought. We believe a solid foundation in the classics makes for strong thinkers, well-read scholars, and intelligent stewards of Western civilization. When last did you dip your foot in the glorious rhetoric of Greek philosophers? For some thought provoking memes and devotional journal prompts pondering Greek drama, click HERE.

Sharing Pondering Aristotle and Happiness this week with:

Literacy Musing Mondays
Mostly Blogging Inspire Me Monday Linkup
Darling Downs Diaries: Good Morning Monday
Classical Homemaking
Wise Woman Wednesday
Breakthrough Homeschooling
Booknificient Thursday
Vintage Mama’s Cottage
Spiritual Sundays

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