Another blogger, Lisa Kenney, describes eudaimonia as “Aristotle’s concept that the goal of life is happiness and it’s to be achieved through reaching one’s full potential.”  If you Wiki it, you will see references to “human flourishing.”  Potential.  Flourishing.

I am rather regretting not paying more attention in Philosophy class, since I have forgotten more about Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle than I remember.  However, are they not just precursors to many modern authors who posit, what is standing in our way to being our best selves (that sounded rather Oprah-ish, and I apologize)?  Doesn’t Rand challenge society to allow each to reach their greatness without interference from governmental moral police?  Even pop psych books like 7 Habits of Highly Effective People or Strengthsfinder are suggesting that there is some vague ideal of ourselves to be achieved.

Perhaps I am grappling with this notion of human flourishing because I contend with the daily struggles of being a parent and hoping to get it right.  I hope to help my own children see their possibilities.  But it has never been some pie in the sky notion of potential.  It is this very grounded idea that we have strengths and abilities that must be identified and honed.  The education to reach our potential must begin in earnest every day. As Aristotle posits, to exhibit excellence in accordance with reason.

Happiness by flourishing.

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