Quality of Life

What is Life?

Unless we know what life is, we cannot approach its quality. Therefore, we must first answer life's question.

What is the Question?

When all is silent, there are only two questions, which essentially is only one:

"What is the meaning of life?", and "What is the meaning of suffering?". If you answer one, you have answered the other.

What is the Answer?

There are probably as many answers as there are people.

However, there are two main streams:

1. Those who are in search of "Happiness".

2. Those who are in search of "Self-Actualization".

The Pursuit of Happiness

If happiness were the goal of life, then suffering would be its hell.
For hedonists, happiness determines the quality of life, since happiness is the need to be fulfilled, and the quality the ability to fulfill that need.
Hedonism, can only make us happy for some time, but it always must give away to suffering, since fulfillment is not sustainable in a changing world.

Therefore, you will find yourself forever redefining "happiness", as it will follow our needs and circumstances as they change throughout our lifetime.
It is this fallacy that makes us aim for prosperity, money, and greed to fulfill our perceived need for happiness.

Happiness is not the result of the circumstances, but the result of our attitude toward our environment.
Two people put in the same circumstances may find one happy, the other miserable.
Material wealth and even health, while making life more pleasant, does not necessarily create happiness, nor does the lack of these create misery.

We all have met people who have next to nothing, barely able to sustain themselves, but happy go lucky.
They 'go with the flow', wherever life takes them.
While we also meet people who have a nice home, great family, a good job with a good income, yet unable to appreciate what they have, unable to 'count their blessings', because they are focused on what they find disagreeable instead of using it as a learning experience.

Our environment changes, varies from moment to moment.
There is a time for everything under the sun!
We need both the positive and the negative in our life.
We can enjoy the good times and dread the bad ones, but must deal with them regardless.
We must learn to live in harmony with our 'karma', the task that life (or the 'Universe') has given us.
It is up to us to accept it and learn from it and to learn who we really are.
That is Self-Actualization.

Self Actualization

Shakespeare, through Hamlet, posed the question as: "To be or not to be" rather than "To become or not to become". This means that we do not have to become something else, as we already are what we need to be.

The old Greeks posed the question as: "Know thyself", which translates into "Who are you?". It is our task to find out who we really are.

In a more modern version of the ancient sages: "Are we physical beings trying to get spiritual experience, or are we spirits trying to get physical experience?"

Funny enough, we attain happiness as a by-product of finding ourselves, not by looking for it.

Definition of the Quality of Life

The Quality of Life is the totality of features and characteristics of the varying environments and changing conditions/circumstances that bear on their ability to satisfy the human needs for actualization at four levels of awareness:
  1. Physical
  2. Emotional
  3. Mental
  4. Spiritual

Back to where we left off in QOL, The NEXT QUESTION


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