What is a good life? . . . Prompt #199

What makes up a good life?

What are the ingredients for a good life? If you could combine essential ingredients to produce a good life, what would those ingredients be? Is there a secret ingredient?

If there was a recipe for a good life, would people embrace it? Would they conform or rebel or ???

If you were going to stitch qualities for a good life into a quilt, what bits and pieces would you need? What would the final piece look like?

Is this even a fair or answerable question? Are there too many variables to consider?

Charlie BrownIf you could create, cajole, conjure, form, shape a good life, would you? What would it look like. . . that good life many people strive for.

Today’s writing prompt: What do you think a good life is all about?



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  1. PamH

    The Hypnosis of Normal

    When I was a child my mother used to say that “normal people never change the world.” This sounds glamorous in theory, but when she read aloud biographies of famous people the common theme was suffering. This artist was insane, this author was an alcoholic, this amazing musician died in poverty at a young age. Questions began to emerge in my young mind. Does a superior life in one aspect mean you are doomed to unhappiness in ordinary existence? What is a good life?

    There is comfort in believing that normal exists. It assures that 2 plus 2 will always equal 4. It says that if you live a visibly good life there is a payoff, an ultimate reward. If we all pretend this is true, it must be so. Just ignore or hide what doesn’t belong.

    Cracks appear in this picture of perfection. Mothers greet school children not with cookies and milk, but in tears because their lives are empty. Fathers no longer wish to be heroes in a fairy tale and disappear. Children find themselves feeling the void created by lack of authentic guidance.

    What is true? Conformity or rebellion? Confusion or certainty? A life of drifting between the poles of chaos and order?

    Complexity and paradox gradually becomes reality for those who refuse to choose. Yes, life is uncertain, confusing, often frightening and bewildering. Yes, life is full of stories, music, communities, and love. Courage to explore the unknown helps. Courage to need and be needed helps. Learning to trust the power of resiliency offers hope and direction.

    Perhaps the real question isn’t about choosing between rebelliousness and being “normal.” Perhaps the essential exploration is in searching for ways to say yes to this truly difficult and wonderful life.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Gorgeous and thought-filled writing, PamH. I enjoy the rhythm and cadence of this piece. Your writing invites and inspires introspection. I especially like “If we all pretend this is true, it must be so.” And “Cracks appear in this picture of perfection.” And “feeling the void created by lack of authentic guidance.” Well, I like the entire piece! I could read this writing over and over again and get something new and inspirational each time. Really well done. Thank you for posting.

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