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Catching Happiness

Hedonism — A Hymn to Healthy Self-Love

I want to just do what I like by enjoying life and getting maximum pleasure from it. Perhaps, this phrase tells you that my hedonism offers me a burst of vitality through the pleasure and joy of life. It is the ultimate dream of any person. So, how does one get the maximum fun and pleasure from one’s existence? That is a good question to explore.

The origins of hedonism
Back in 400 BC, there was such a teaching as «hedonism» in ancient Greece, in which the meaning of life recognised pleasure; not only physical, but also spiritual. The founder of hedonism is considered to be Aristippus Kirensk, a contemporary of Socrates. The path to happiness, for Aristippus, was to achieve maximum pleasure and enjoyment of the highest order. Those who subscribed to this philosophy were known as hedonists. The wise Socrates criticized the extreme, but recognized that pleasure plays a big role in our lives. We must divide our opportunities, though, into good and bad or true and false. Aristotle did not recognize these «amenities» of personal benefit and did not believe them to be worthy as life goals.

Despite such criticism, the hedonist school has not ceased to exist and has been developed as a moderate option, offered by Epicurus. This Greek philosopher taught that only necessary and natural pleasures will not destroy the coolness of the human soul and will be worthy to be the aim of the aspirations of the individual. Epicureans give people free will and do not focus only on physical pleasure. They also consider the «aesthetic». A person can indulge in accordance with his wishes and receive pleasure from everything that pleases his soul and body. The main interest for the Epicureans is the sensible world. As he lay dying, Epicurus took a warm bath and asked someone to bring him wine, providing himself with a last pleasure before departure.

Hedonism — is that bad?
In contrast to the pleasures of Epicurus in the definition, the concept of hedonism is often used in a negative way to describe a purely financially oriented, selfish outlook on life. Unfortunately, public opinion and education convinces people that, in life, most everything can be achieved only through hard work and dedication. The pleasure and joy of life is, too often, tossed by the wayside as something that should not be validated. The word «hedonism», for many, indicates a pejorative desire for gain. Still, man’s love for a comfortable life is defined by what he can afford to provide comfort and care to himself and his loved ones. If a person works hard, he has every right to enjoy all of the other pleasures that he can afford based upon his financial freedom.

Love for the best
In today’s world, the hedonism influence is increasing every year. Enjoying today and all of its trappings is like tasting life in the moment. Every opportunity can be bright, pleasant and unforgettable when you live in the here and now rather than simply plan happiness for tomorrow.

Today, hedonism is the desire to settle for only the best and to be most comfortable because, according to most hedonists, only the best can provide the most pleasure. The desire for good food, expensive drinks, comfortable housing, nice cars, good sex and a relaxing stay is at the core of hedonism in its modern form.

Take only the best from life. If you cannot take the best, do not take anything. Instead, wait and be patient. You deserve it! A good tip is to enjoy the taste of your food and wine. Do not gulp your drink or swallow your food too quickly, in a rush. Remember to chew and to savour. To know true joy, you do not want to miss anything!!!

Pamper yourself every day. Cease to be afraid and feel guilty for your love of life. Give yourself daily small gifts in the form of communication with nice people, shopping, completing interesting activities, reading books or listening to music.

Your life will be full and beautiful and you deserve to enjoy life. You only need to recognize this without any sense of guilt!