Becker (1992) offered a comprehensive review of prior philosophical efforts to sculpt the good life. From these, he generated a list of “criterial goods” that embody lives well lived.  These begin with fundamentals, such as the material conditions necessary to sustain life, or to have basic states of consciousness and understanding, but then move upward to more complex aspects of selfhood: self-command (the ability to resolve states of consciousness into acts of will) and self-love (the self-esteem required to avoid self-destructive acts, and self-respect required to defend one’s liberty and integrity).  Qualities of connection to others are also emphasized, such as mutual love (reciprocal desire, affection, empathy, and conviviality) …, along with elements of social responsibility like benevolence (concern for the well-being of others), and rectitude (morally right conduct). Reflecting enduring philosophical themes, Becker discussed the harmonization of reason, desire, and will (the unification of multiple and often conflicting elements of action); life as an aesthetic object (the life that is beautiful, sublime, a work of art); and exemplification of goodness-of-a-kind (capturing Aristotelian accounts of excellence-the perfection of a thing, be it an individual, a human community, or a tradition).1

My magnificent vision is to eventually set up a Center for Inter-Spiritual Dialogue. Those involved ideally will be spiritual practitioners able to show and teach how not to judge others, how to be at ease in entering into unfamiliar cultural and religious settings, how to transcend dogma, and how to collaborate with others in designing and delivering spirit-filled and loving community-based after-school and summer programs that largely focus on universal moral values like the Golden Rule.  I sincerely believe that this will positively contribute to help the development of acceptance, connection, compassion, loving-kindness, positive traits, improved coping and life-skills, spirituality, wisdom and resilience and tolerance in children, youth, and in particular, adolescents-in-transition to adulthood.

Thank you very much for visiting and adding this blogged book to your personal internet library. I hope and pray that you will refer to it often as you continue in your efforts to look for more effective and integrating ways of living together, finding your purpose, and “developing within yourself a disposition of tolerance”.2

  1. Ryff, C. D., and Singer, B., (1998). The Contours of Positive Human Health. Psychological Inquiry, Vol. 9, NO. 1, 1-28. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
  2. James., 46.