Eudaimonia = indestructible

8:02:00 AM

The Ateneo core curriculum requires that all students, regardless of their respective majors, take up at least twelve units (four subjects) of Philosophy. It was on my third Philosophy class that I first learned about the Aristotelian concept of eudaimonia, a Greek word loosely translated to “happiness.” 

(photo from the internet)
I personally feel that this translation does not do the Greek much justice. Eudaimonia is a state wherein a person is steady on a deeper level, and as such, he or she cannot be derailed by life’s disturbances. Although the person in eudaimonia still feels pain, fear, and sadness like the average joe, he or she has an inner strength to endure.
The magic word
(image from the internet)
Eudaimonia is not something we are born with. Rather, it is achieved through meditation, introspection, and practice. Getting there is a slow and sometimes painful process, but it is believed to be attainable. Just to clarify, eudaimonia is NOT euphoria. It is the mature sort of happiness - an understanding that all bad things shall pass.

I mentioned earlier that the translation “happiness” is rather misleading, and so I propose my own: indestructible. Not in the Superman sense, but rather in a very human, emotional way. [Indestructible is the latest of a slew of adjectives that my friend Pauline throws at me, as she personally witnessed everything that I had gone through since high school.]

While I cannot say for certain that I’m there, I could at least claim that I am working on attaining eudaimonia. I had quite a head start with a tough life, and the mere fact that I am still here, alive and fighting, does say I’m made of something else. Of course I occasionally get worried, I frequently lose my temper, and I often feel sadness, but those things are not enough to push me off the proverbial cliff.

If I have, in fact, achieved eudaimonia, I will not take all the credit for it. I am indestructible because of my Mom. She raised me to be independent and tough; she has prepared me to live without her. I also have the rest of my family to thank, but that’s too obvious I shouldn’t even mention it. And then there are friends, who generously share their own supply of the indestructible elixir with me when my own well runs dry, temporarily forgetting their own needs and filling mine all the way to the brim.


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