Thoughts on a Good Life

I’ve been thinking a lot lately on what it means to be a good person. There’s isn’t really a user guide available that works for everyone—though I’d recommend A Guide to the Good Life by William B. Irvine as one place to start.

For my own part, I think I’ve found at least four timeless principles I believe we can all still live up to in our modern world if we embrace hardship and uncertainty as the opportunity we need to become better versions of ourselves.

Wisdom —know you’re often wrong in your beliefs and that others are better qualified to illuminate the truth.

Courage —endure hardship in the name of progress rather than retreating to a life of comfort and leisure.

Justice —sacrifice privilege for the security of the whole; we create law and surrender to order so that discord and tyranny do not consume us.

Temperance —accept no extremes and always seek, and if not found, create a middle path; we do not force our beliefs on others but find a way for all of us to share the communal space and its burdens.