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Microcosm
December 16th, 2016, 08:21 PM
Should the focus of one's life be on enjoying their life or contributing to those around them and future generations? Or perhaps a mixture of both?

Some might say that the two are inseparable, aka by enjoying your life, you are contributing to the lives of others and vice versa. However, I don't think this is necessarily the case as some people will seclude themselves in order to be happy. Furthermore, pure enjoyment of life only contributes some minimal happiness to those around you as they see you being happy, which will likely make them somewhat happy; this is assuming no seclusion.

Consider the ends of enjoying life as well: Everyone has been made happy by all others being happy. What is accomplished? Is happiness worth accomplishing if it limits contributions to technology, society, and human advancement?

Here is my opinion: The effect of enjoying life is a small ripple in the history of humanity. In other words, no amount of happiness is truly everlasting. It will eventually die as all emotions do. This is not to say, however, that happiness is worthless. It is a motivating factor of achievement and contribution. So, happiness is less of an end and more of a means to achieve a more grand end: contributing something to humanity.

What do you think?

Phosphene
December 16th, 2016, 09:27 PM
I think the two are interconnected. Contributing to the lives of others brings joy to oneself, and enjoying your own life will have a more positive impact on others than if you always choese to focus on the negative side of things without making an effort to find the good in life. As someone who is profoundly affected by the attitudes of the people I'm normally around, I can't stress the latter enough. I'm not implying that you should 'pretend' to be in a good mood when you're not; I mean that you, as well as people around you, will feel better if you try to stay positive.

everlong
December 16th, 2016, 09:57 PM
Some people enjoy life and don't contribute, and some contribute, but don't necessarily enjoy life. While both are really fine, I think the focus should be to do both. It's kinda like why people breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, and plants breath in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen.

Porpoise101
December 16th, 2016, 10:05 PM
They don't have to be separate. Many times, being apart and helping a cause greater than ones' own is a great source of happiness for many.

Flapjack
December 17th, 2016, 04:41 PM
I think Amethyst_ sums it up reallyyy well!! You only get one life so you might as well try to enjoy it but I also think it is important to help others and make their lives more enjoyable and hopefully make a positive impact on the world that will stay when you're gone. I think doing all that good will also make your life more enjoyable too!!

Microcosm
December 18th, 2016, 04:35 PM
I suppose what I'm trying to get at here is entitlement. When people say they are "entitled" to happiness regardless of how much they have contributed to others, is that okay?

I don't think so. Happiness seems to be a natural mechanism for reward and reward only is meant to follow some sort of work or contribution.

Vlerchan
December 18th, 2016, 04:54 PM
I don't think so. Happiness seems to be a natural mechanism for reward and reward only is meant to follow some sort of work or contribution.
How do you feel about disabled people, or people that otherwise might not possess the means to access this happiness?

Phosphene
December 18th, 2016, 05:03 PM
I suppose what I'm trying to get at here is entitlement. When people say they are "entitled" to happiness regardless of how much they have contributed to others, is that okay?

Yes. Happiness doesn't only come through contributing to others. What about discovering something you're passionate about? Witnessing someone make a great accomplishment? A loved one recovering from an illness? None of these require you to make a contribution.

Microcosm
December 18th, 2016, 05:40 PM
How do you feel about disabled people, or people that otherwise might not possess the means to access this happiness?

I suppose they are a special case. They shouldn't be praised, but they should be provided sustenance and their loved ones can still provide them with happiness simply from their care for each other. For them, I suppose happiness is more of a numbing agent of pain until death. Of course, that depends on the extent of their disability.

Yes. Happiness doesn't only come through contributing to others. What about discovering something you're passionate about? Witnessing someone make a great accomplishment? A loved one recovering from an illness? None of these require you to make a contribution.

What about happiness as less of a passive emotion? More along the lines of fulfillment. Should someone feel perfectly content in life having contributed nothing or very little to others?

Phosphene
December 18th, 2016, 06:42 PM
What about happiness as less of a passive emotion? More along the lines of fulfillment. Should someone feel perfectly content in life having contributed nothing or very little to others?

This is subjective, so I can only answer for myself. I would not be content contributing nothing or very little to others - there are too many people who lack sufficient necessities/would be grateful to have someone supporting them. How could I accept anything from others in my life if I wasn't willing to contribute to others' lives? Kind of like a cell in a hypotonic solution where the concentration of dissolved solutes is higher inside the cell than outside (representing the receiving of contributions without giving to anyone else), and if excess water inside isn't removed (representing the act of making contributions to the lives of others), it can explode (which obviously wouldn't happen to a person but this is just a representation of how making contributions is better than receiving all the contributions). There needs to be a healthy balance of give/receive. I think the only exceptions are those who have a special reason preventing them from contributing to the extent they would like (such as a severe disability, as stated above).

Kahn
December 19th, 2016, 09:49 PM
A healthy balance of both.