Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Another New Year's Resolution - or What Would Aristotle Say?

This time of year, our thoughts often turn to bettering ourselves, to making resolutions of plans for the New Year as a way to start off a new behavior or give up an old one.  What does Aristotle have to do with that?  Bear with me.

I'm not philosopher, but I did take a couple philosophy courses in college and what I recall the most is what I understood Aristotle to say on the nature of goodness.  All human actions must be perceived as 'good' or no one would do them.  Really.  So, a bank robber sees something good is what he does or he wouldn't rob banks.  Society sees bank robbing as a bad thing - but not the bank robber even if he is not deranged.  He understands that what he is doing is 'wrong' but he does it because he sees something good in it for him.

Same with much worse crimes, arson, murder, child molestation.  Not that the people who commit these heinous crimes puts a lot of thought into the reasoning for doing such a thing..  Some are compulsions, some are spur of the moment crimes, some may be obsessions which the perpetrator is unable to overcome.  Whatever.  No matter how bad society (you and I) think about the crime, it wouldn't happen if someone didn't see some good in doing it.

So, which part of Aristotle's philosophy are you going to implement?  The part that sees a lot of good in watching TV and living in couch potato mode?  Or, the person who will get up and move, walk, dance, work out?  Which one of these paths is 'good-er'?

I am all about the Aristotelian principles of goodness as they apply to my health and wellbeing.  I can think of hundreds of reasons NOT to go for a walk - housework, bad weather, laziness, demands of job and family, aches and pains.  But, I only need ONE reason to get me on Aristotle's side here.  Walking will make me feel better, no matter how many of those inertial weights are at play in my life.  I will think of Aristotle as I walk in less than favorable conditions and know that a guy who lived hundreds of years ago is having a very positive influence on me.  Wonder what the Greek is for 'just do it'?

*************************** Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.

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