What Makes Life Worth Living? Take a Moment to Ask

August 25, 2014 8:06 PM

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What Makes Life Worth Living? Take a Moment to Ask

When was the last time you sat down, or took a walk, to think about what makes this one life you have meaningful -- what makes it worth living? When was the last time you took a break from solving problems, completing tasks, and pursuing your goals to ask whether those goals were the right ones to pursue? In a performance-driven and fun-oriented world, taking time to ask those sorts of questions can make you seem like a kid on a soccer team picking dandelions while others run to score a goal, perhaps even to become the next Messi, crowned in glory and swimming in cash.

At Yale, we teach a course called Life Worth Living. Two simple convictions guide and energize it: (1) the flourishing of our individual lives depends in part on our ability to ask and answer (however provisionally) the question of what makes life worth living, and (2) in the globalizing, pluralisti...

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