The so called hedonistic good life may provide pleasure and temporary happiness but it does not enhance or prolong life. However a life of compassion seems to provide a joy that brings meaning and purpose and the health and wisdom needed to live a long and productive life.

The Good Life

The seeker of hedonistic happiness:

“I seek pleasure, the good life.
I stagger away from sadness.
I leave no room for disappointment,
no place for discomfort, no tolerance for pain.

I seek the good life.
I yield to every desire.
I hunt happiness without hesitation.

I pursue pleasure persistently
without pause for thought.
I strive to light my nervous system on fire.

I eagerly explore everything new,
anything beyond my threshold of boredom,
my threshold of having already been there.

I search for a new chemical high
with a different reality than the one I know,
with a new depth of sensing who I am.

I experience every new sensations of sex
that let’s me go further, deeper,
into someone else’s body, someone else’s mind.

I will pursue pleasure until the door slams shut
with the ultimate knowledge
that there is nothing else to experience.”

The seeker of joy through purpose and meaning:

“There is no new thrill I need to explore,
no new knowledge I must gain to make me wiser,
no new place I have to go to challenge my soul,
to breathe different air, see different things,
to experience someone else’s life.

My body rebels from aging away too quickly.
My heart sighs way too deeply,
refusing to wither like forgotten fruit on the vine.

So I choose to live the good life.
My soul seeks meaning and purpose.
I live for the flow of energy I feel
when I put my arm around someone’s shoulder,
when I share food from my table, at my table,
when I listen to a heart that is broken,
when I carry someone’s burden
that has become too heavy for them to bear,
until they are strong enough
to carry it themselves.
I grow stronger with each burden I carry;
I experience meaning and purpose
as my soul expands with the joy of life;
I am compassionate.”