A flourishing life

Eudaimonia has come up before here on the ‘ol blog.

Simply put, I dislike having to use words from other languages. As soon as I queue up such a word for speaking, I imagine some leathery cowboy bitching about highfalutin words. (Which I, also immediately, find to be sublime hypocrisy on the part of my imagined critic.)

For the ancient Greeks, eudaimonia was considered the highest human good. While the word doesn’t easily translate into English, it roughly corresponds to a happy, flourishing life — to a life well-lived.

Eudaimonia wasn’t a destination — a nirvana that, once reached, initiated a state of bliss. Happiness wasn’t something you felt, but that you did; it was a dynamic, ongoing activity.

What that activity centered on was the pursuit of arete, or virtue.

~ Brett & Kate McKay from, https://www.artofmanliness.com/character/advice/aristotles-11-excellences-for-living-a-flourishing-life/

Anyway, there’s simply no way to say it succinctly in English. I’ve always wondered if the language (some word or phrase) is missing because we Westerners don’t think about eudaimonia— Or if we don’t think about eudaimonia because we don’t have the language for it. I want a single English word for all of that above because I think about it all the time.

Also, are you now wondering—more generally—if your primary language (the one you speak, read, write, and hear in your thoughts) affects the way you think or the types of thoughts you are capable of having?