The interpretation of the “Good Life” varies for different people. For some of them it means justice and happiness, for others – it is a search for the reason to live. According to the United Nations (2011), the world population has reached 7 billion on October 31, 2011 (n. d.). Therefore, there could be 7 billion opinions about the meaning of the “Good Life” as well as the understanding the “wealth” of the soul.
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From the position of the ethical relativism, everything that happens in the world depends on circumstances. Different people have different values as well as beliefs about life and ethical principles. Considering the selections from the “Republic” and “Man’s Search for Meaning”, there are different ways that can bring people to the “wealth” of the soul by understanding the “Good Life” perceptions.
By concentrating on the ethical issues involved in personal and professional life, people can control the decisions they make while choosing between the personal gain and the greater good. The “Ring of Gigs” considers the concept of self-worth and self-dignity as a meaning of psychological justice and the human significance. As Viktor Frankl states(1963), “"The will to meaning" is the basic motivation for human life has forever changed the way we understand our humanity in the face of suffering” (39). Only by going through the grief and pain, people can start sharing the value with others instead of always expecting it back. After any negative experience, people change their mind in favor of the greater good that automatically leads to the “wealth” of the soul. Providing the value to people is the only meaning of a “Good Life”. As a result, it returns with the positive feedback that inspires the soul.
The “Cave of Ignorance” allows people see a different type of reality. This allegory explains the value of the universal good and the ways people think and live. Every person should face the “intellectual, cultural and societal norms” that form the meaning of life (Plato, 242). Everything we have in life is given either to help us grow, or to make us work out what we deserved after the wrong life. Thus, the vision of the “Good” is against the ethical relativism for the reason that whatever happens with people depends on their attitudes.
The “Myth of Er” talks about the “soul” of Odysseus and his choice. According to Plato (2006), the ethical message of the legend is that “the moral people get a reward and immoral ones receive nothing but the punishment in the afterlife” (334). Hence, there is a need to understand the values of the ordinary life and plan every day of the lifetime consistent with the ethical principles.
The Viktor Frankl’s “Logo Therapy” expresses the meaning of life as well as the understanding of how people should live within the context of “meaning” as the major reason for everyday life. This closely relates to the findings of the key ethical thinkers, such as Socrates, Augustine, and many others and their ideas about the life after death. As a rule, people can obtain the journey towards the “Good Life” in their personal way. The universal ethics as well as the ethical relativism and culture play a significant role for people.
To my understanding, by improving one single sphere, people can get stronger in others and promote a better living. Every person can refine any life sphere separately by working on the habits and trying to make progress every day. Even one-step further can help people grow individually and find the meaning of life. This is the way people can achieve the “Good Life” in both personal and professional meanings. I work on myself every single day working out one habit that can make my life better including personal and professional aspects of life.
The ethical relativism as well as the “Republic” and “Man’s Search for Meaning”, provide relevant examples. The ancient notionalist’s “Republic” illustrates the nature of ethical issues in the quote about life with positive or negative background. According to Plato (2006):
The man who finds that in the course of his life, he has done a lot of wrong often wakes up at night in terror, like a child with a nightmare, and his life is full of foreboding: but the man who is conscious of no wrongdoing is filled with cheerfulness and with the comfort of old age. (278).
In the “Man’s Search for Meaning”, Frankl (1963) states that: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves” (77). Thus, the environment people have around them depends on the internal ethical issues.
The history of ethics analyzes the positions of the key ethical thinkers including the ethical relativism and the real life examples that can help people improve their lives for better. According to what they say, in case people stop thinking about their personal gain and start giving the value to others, this will bring the world more peace and prosperity.
The “Good Life” requires critical personal analysis as well as the value of every single day. The Plato’s “Republic” as well as Viktor Frankl's “Man’s Search for Meaning” covers the need to find a reason to live in the context of “meaning”.
Moreover, people have to learn how to choose from the personal gain and the greater good, including the alternative reality of the universal good. The nature of ethical values is vitally important for the personal and professional life of different people. The moment people start to appreciate every minute of life, they understand how to achieve the “wealth” of the soul by perceiving the meaning of the “Good Life” in detail.
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