“All mortal creatures … strive to reach one goal—the goal of happiness. Now the Good is that which, when a man hath got, he can lack nothing further. That it is which is the supreme good of all. … To this state, as we have said, all men try to attain, but by different paths. For the desire of the true good is naturally implanted in the minds of men; only error leads them aside … in pursuit of the false. Some, deeming it the highest good to want for nothing, spare no pain to attain affluence. Others, judging the good to be that to which respect is most worthily paid, strive to win the reverence of their fellow-citizens by the attainment of official dignity. Some there are who fix the chief good in supreme power; these either wish themselves to enjoy sovereignty, or try to attach themselves o those who have it. … Although opinions are so various and discordant, yet they agree in cherishing good as the end.” ~Boethius
While we live in an age where some people seem to never strive for anything, most still do strive. And nearly all strive for what they consider to be “The Good,” as Boethius states. Hat is as it should be.
We all need to strive for several reasons. One reason is that striving gives us something productive to do. Another is that growth comes from striving. Progress comes from striving. Those who refuse to strive, but just float through life like a piece of driftwood accomplish nothing. Even on the spiritual level, you must strive for spiritual growth. If you just sit back and wait for it to happen, it won’t.
We all seek what we consider to be good. And when we get it, we seek something even better. The intent is to reach that supreme good, even if we don’t realize it. The problem comes in knowing what is truly good and what isn’t.
In our overly materialistic society, it is only natural that many seek good in material things. Some seek it in wealth and possessions. We have seen a huge growth in this type in recent years. Partly it is because such behavior is not only tolerated, but applauded. Fools can’t see that while nature provides enough for everyone, when a few are greedy, others must do without.
Others seek it in power such as being a politician or a business leader. That wouldn’t be so bad if they were doing it for the betterment of all, but they rarely are. Most are concerned only with themselves and the glory they get from being in a high position.
Yet others seek good in fame. They may be singers, actors, or even athletes. Those who have real talent and use it out of joy are to be applauded. But then there are the Kardashian types who have no real talent, yet have convinced many that they are celebrities worthy of worship and great wealth. This seeking of fame for the sake of fame is where things go wrong. Yet many young people are firm believers in the idea that fame is important and worthy seeking in any way possible. Fame is something one should get by earning it, not by seeking it. Continue reading “Supreme Good and Why We Seek It”