The Formula for a Good Life

Life. I’ve thought about it – about mine – from philosophical, religious and scientific perspectives. I like solving puzzles and math helps me understand how life functions in an orderly fashion. So, I have longed to know the simple equation for a good life, so that I can quit spending so much of mine thinking about it. I’ve been thinking about life a lot lately, as my country seems engaged in a state of constant conflict.

I’ve personally been so consumed by fighting for everyone’s right to have a good life that somewhere in the midst of the chaos, I lost sight of just what it means to have a good life.

Roger and DorothyI was recently reminded of what a good life can look like when I saw photos of my father-in-law and mother-in-law. When they were alive, they were the poster children for what I would call the good life. Roger and Dorothy weren’t mathematicians, but they knew the formula for a meaningful life. He drove a Cadillac, but they otherwise had what I would call a no-frills existence. Their most important desires were met by the joy they gave to others. He was a farmer and she was a homemaker. They lived on a farm in southeastern Minnesota in a home with doors that were always open. They had a welcome mat that extended to all who were in the vicinity. They always had time for a visit, space at the table, a spot on the couch, and room on the swing – where the rhythm of their lives nurtured their littlest visitors.

Roger and Dorothy on swing with kids

If you’ve found yourself wondering lately if you have a life that’s meaningful, ask yourself if you’ve given people the joyous sound of your laughter; if you’ve warmed someone with the radiance of your smile; if you’ve made an effort to put a smile on someone else’s face; if you’ve let someone know that they are always welcome at your table, on your couch, or next to you on your swing. If you have done these things for anyone, you have experienced the good life. Continue doing it, and the goodness of your life will increase exponentially. That’s the formula.



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© 2018 by Julie Ryan. All rights reserved
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