“What is human” is obviously more important to happiness than “what humans have”, so we see that in order to gather gold and silver treasures, like an industrious ant, endlessly from morning to night, exhausted Worry, we will understand a lot of truth.
Aristotle divides the happiness of life into three categories: happiness from the outside, happiness from the soul, and happiness from the flesh. Except that we can use this trichotomy, this subcategory has no strength. I think the difference in human destiny can be attributed to three different reasons:
First, what is a person. In a broad sense, this refers to personality, which includes health, strength, beauty, temperament, moral character, reason, and education.
Second, what people have, that is, property and various possessions.
Third, what position does one have in the evaluation of others. As everyone knows, what is the image of a person in the eyes of friends through what has been learned, or more strictly, how they look at his eyes is expressed by their evaluation of him, and their evaluation It is reflected in the respect and prestige of the people.
People’s differences in the first aspect are naturally caused. From this fact alone, it can be asserted that compared with the other two aspects, this difference is much more important for the impact of happiness. The latter is merely an artificial result. Compared with real personality advantages, such as a great soul or noble feelings, then the prominent position, noble experience, and even the princely generals are at best nothing more than the princes on the stage.
A long time ago, Materodolo, the earliest follower of Epicurus, said this. The title of a chapter in his book is this: Outer happiness is far worse than inner happiness. There is no doubt that the most basic element of life happiness-for the whole life-lies in the composition of the person, the inherent quality of the person. This is the direct source of inner satisfaction caused by all human emotions, desires, and thoughts, and the impact of the environment on life is indirect.
To the confident and optimist, it is just an exciting conflicting event, to the depressed person, it is a tragedy, and to the numb person, it has no meaning. To the stupid and stupid people, the most brilliant and colorful thing in the world is also boring and boring, so appreciation of it is boring and boring. This is like a beautiful landscape painting in dark weather or a dark camera Image on the door. Indeed, anyone is confined within the bounds of his own consciousness, and one cannot go beyond himself, nor can he directly out of the bounds.
Therefore, external help didn’t mean much to him. On the stage, someone plays a prince, someone plays a minister, someone plays a servant, someone plays a soldier or general, and so on. All this is just the difference in appearance. Taken off these costumes, everyone is just a poor actor full of worries about fate. This is life. The disparity in status and wealth makes everyone play a role that suits them, but this does not mean that their inner happiness and joy are different. The ordinary people and the unfortunate people also suffer from their troubles and troubles.
Goethe wrote in the Xidonghu Bed Collection: “For every age, whether it is the humble people or slaves, or the recognized winners in life, their highest happiness as earthly mortals is only Personality. ”
There is a saying that hunger is the best condiment. From the fact that youth and old age cannot live together, to the lives of geniuses and saints, all the facts show that for happiness, subjective factors in life are much more important than objective factors. Health is much more important than other happiness, so some people say that it is better to be a healthy beggar than a sick king. Gentle, lively and happy temperament, perfect and strong physique, sound reasoning, keen insight, steady and gentle will, and conscience are all advantages that status and property cannot replace. For an individual, his personality is something that follows him when he is lonely. It is something that no one can take away or give to others. Personality is more essential than all the wealth he has. It’s more realistic than everyone thinks of him.
A sane person, even in a state of complete loneliness, can obtain great entertainment with his mind and his fantasies; even if there is no change, no pleasant socializing, no theater, hiking, and recreation, he also Can avoid the trouble of fools. A person who is kind and gentle by nature is happy even in poverty. On the contrary, if a person is naturally greedy, jealous, jealous, and ruthless, he will be miserable even if he is the richest man in the world.
Therefore, the first and most essential element of life happiness is our personality. There is no other reason than this factor, which works in any case. Moreover, it is different from the other two types of blessings. It is not a game of destiny and will not be misunderstood by us; the other two types of blessings only have relative value and personality has absolute value, so this is more than people usually think. Dominating a person on the ground is much more difficult.
The only thing we can do is to use the personal qualities we have as much as possible, obey such entertainment and also call them games, striving for the perfection they allow without regard for the rest. Therefore, one should choose the status, occupation, and lifestyle most suitable for the development of personal qualities.
Imagine a powerful man who was forced by the environment to engage in an inactive occupation, such as delicate and careful handicrafts, or academic research and mental labor that requires other abilities, which is just beyond his ability Work, forced to abandon those excellent abilities, people who are arranged by fate like this will never feel happy in their lives.
Since happiness belonging to the first category is more important than happiness belonging to the other two categories, it is obviously more wise to act to maintain our health and develop our abilities than to concentrate on wealth. Strictly speaking, wealth is a luxury. It does not bring us happiness, but many rich people are unfortunate because they lack spiritual education or knowledge, so they cannot be interested in the mental work that they can do. . To the extent that truly natural necessities are met, all the wealth that can be obtained has little effect on our happiness.
Indeed, it is better to say that wealth will disturb our happiness, because the accumulation of wealth will inevitably bring great annoyance and anxiety to people. However, people’s thoughts on getting rich are much more than that of raising upbringing. hundred times. “What is human” is obviously more important to happiness than “what humans have”, so we see that in order to gather gold and silver treasures, like an industrious ant, endlessly from morning to night, exhausted Worry, we will understand a lot of truth.
Those highest pleasures, the pleasures of reason, were beyond his reach; he was indulging in lust, replacing the pleasures of reason with those ephemeral pleasures in vain, and continuing this short moment at a great cost. If he is lucky, then his efforts will make him really build up a million family property, he will either leave these properties to his children, or continue to increase this property, or spend a lot of money to waste this property. In this life, despite his sincere and persistent pursuit, he is still as stupid as a clown wearing a tapered cap.
I do not need to strengthen the meaning of the other two types of blessings that lead to happiness in life. Nowadays, everyone knows the value of these two kinds of blessings. The third category does not seem to be as important as the second category, because it is just the opinion of others. However, everyone still pursues reputation, that is, good reputation. On the other hand, only those who serve the country are looking forward to the high officials, and pay little attention to their reputation.
In short, the average person sees reputation as an invaluable treasure and reputation as the most precious blessing a person can get, like the golden wool of God’s elect; only an idiot will give up wealth and pursue status. Moreover, the second and third types of blessings are causal to each other, and other advantages can often get us what we want.