Along Lines of Excellence

The Greeks used to say, “Happiness is the exercise of vital powers along lines of excellence in a life that affords them scope”.

“The exercise of vital powers” means putting into action the energy of our life.

“Along lines of excellence” means that it must follow excellence. In Greek, the word for excellence is “Arete” and it was closely tied to the ideas of virtue and knowledge. Virtue is about living by moral principles. Morals are distilled from ethical analysis which requires knowledge.

“In a life that affords them scope” means being applied widely.

In order to be happy, we should use knowledge founded ethics to put our life energy into widely applied actions.