In Search of the Good Life: Why is it so hard to find?

If you were to Google the question “What is the good life?”, you’d be overwhelmed by the response. Some of the answers are shopping, consumption, places to live. You’ll find a host of books that offer formulas on how to find the good life. There are many retail stores that sell goods that promote the good life. Buy this, and it will contribute to your life.

But what you won’t find is that the good life is a life of wisdom and knowledge that leads to a virtuous life. Instead, most of the entries involve material pursuits and games, which sadly, I think, reflects our modern definition of what’s good.

There seems to be a huge gap for so many adults between the life that we dream of and believe we deserve, and the life that we actually end up with. I believe this is why Pulitzer prize-winning author John Cheever made this observation. He said, “The main emotion of the adult American who has had all the advantages of wealth, education, and culture is disappointment.” And for this reason, though we may never share this with anybody, I think we always seem to find ourselves looking for a better life. But the question is, where are we looking and what are we putting our hope in?


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