Happiness, according to Aristotle, is the highest form of good which means living a good life. This is one of the reasons why finding happiness has become the life purpose of many people around the world. One significant rationale for this pursuit of happiness is its connotation of success and delight. However, despite man’s efforts to achieve happiness, the fact of the matter is that happiness has remained elusive. Aristotle in his arguments in Nicomachean Ethics maintains that happiness is hard to find. Some people attribute this status to human nature while others blame the world in which human beings find themselves as the reason why it is difficult to find happiness. The significance of this argument is to try and unearth the reason why human beings are in constant pursuit of happiness and why they never seem to reach it. Additionally, this discourse provides insight into why some people tend to engage in certain activities such as accumulation of wealth, seeking life partners, and securing dreams jobs all in the effort of finding happiness. The thesis for the current research is that it is the human nature to blame for the hardship in finding happiness and not the world in which human beings find themselves because happiness is essentially based on peoples’ actions.

 
 

In the first place, Aristotle states “happiness depends on ourselves.” This statement serves to confirm the argument that human nature is to bear blame as to why happiness is hard to find and not the world. The statement demonstrates that the happiness of human beings rests in their own hands and thus cannot come from anywhere else. Therefore, human nature is the only component that can be responsible for both the acquisition and the failure of attainment of happiness. In the same line of thinking, Aristotle enshrines happiness as being the main purpose for human life and a goal itself. This can be taken to mean that seeking happiness is the central occupation of human beings. This can therefore be viewed as the one thing that defines human beings. As a result, it can be assumed that it is engraved in people and has consequently become the part of human nature. Thus, when people find it hard to receive happiness, the blame lies only on them as an end result of their human nature which is the one charged with the responsibility of acquiring this state and not the world to which they belong.

Aristotle further declares that happiness is the final end or goal that comprises the totality of an individual’s life. This can be understood as happiness is not something that can be achieved or lost within a few hours as in the case with pleasurable sensations and feelings. The truth is, it is more of one’s ultimate value of their life as it is associated with the moment marking the totality of their life since it determines how well one has managed to use their full potential as human beings. For this reason, it is not really sensible to attribute one’s difficulty in obtaining happiness to the world because happiness does not come from the world, but rather from one’s own lives. Further, given the fact that happiness cannot be achieved, gained, and lost within hours, this implies that it comes from something that is quite deep and meaningful, such as human nature, and not from something as temporal as the world. Therefore, given that the source of happiness derives from an individual and their lives, it is only logical for it to be also the cause of the hardship that comes with the acquisition of happiness.

Aristotle links happiness to virtue. Happiness, according to Aristotle, highly depends on nurturing of virtues which are usually individualistic. Moreover, he places emphasis on his claim that the most vital factor in one’s effort to achieve happiness is to possess a good moral character. He describes this character as “complete virtue”. In support of this, Aristotle clarifies that being virtuous should not be taken as a passive state nor is it sufficient for one to have a few virtues. The state requires for a person to completely act in accordance with righteousness and endeavor to possess all virtues. This is evidenced in his statement “He is happy who lives in accordance with complete virtue and is sufficiently equipped with external goods, not for some chance period but throughout a complete life.” This has the meaning that person’s happiness encompasses achieving factors that lead to the perfection of human nature and consequently enrichment of one’s life. For this to take place, it is necessary to make choices. This process sometimes may not be easy as some of the choices that need to be made can be quite difficult. For instance, it is true that in many cases, the lesser good tends to promise immediate pleasure, while the greater good usually requires more sacrifice. This drives from the point that becoming virtuous and thus developing a good character demands to have a strong effort of will. Therefore, this goes to prove that one’s own happiness depends on them. It comes from their ability to have control of themselves and avoid instant gratification which is not virtuous. This, therefore, means that when happiness becomes hard to find, an individual can only blame their human nature which is weak-willed and as a consequence gives in to instant gratification which does not provide true happiness.

Aristotle also states that happiness is guided by people’s intellect and reasoning ability. He concludes this by using the view of nature where he defines four main kinds of things in the world where each defined by its purpose. He first identifies mineral which he describes as lifeless things whose goal is to rest and are beyond stupid. He then categorizes vegetative which are plants and wildlife whose purpose is to seek nourishment and growth. The third thing is animals which represent higher level of life. Their objective is to pursue pleasure and reproduction. Humans are the final things that Aristotle identifies. Though belonging in the same kingdom as other animals human beings are differentiated because of their rational capacity. This aptitude facilitates reasoning. When people reason, they are able to attain their ends and solve problems. This portrays clearly the nature of human beings and their role in seeking whatever they feel has the capacity to fulfill them. This includes happiness. Aristotle adds that happiness is more than the feeling of pleasure and contemplative activity for human beings and for this reason, the goal for seeking it is not to eliminate physical urges which only bring about pleasure. Instead, the goal is to control them in ways that are appropriate to the nature of people as rational animals. In the view of this, an individual can use his or her capacity for rationality to seek own happiness. When a person is unable to get this happiness, he or she is the only one who can be blamed for this failure as this clearly demonstrates his inability to properly make use of reasoning. Given that this failure does not come from an external source but rather from a person and his or her rational nature, the blame for happiness being hard to find can only be placed on human nature and not the world in which human beings find themselves.

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Aristotle also makes the assertion that one’s good or bad fortune has the ability to determine one’s happiness. For instance, Aristotle acknowledges that people’s happiness can be influenced by materialistic circumstances and position in society. However, when people live their lives to the full, it is possible to achieve happiness, regardless of lack of these things. For this reason, happiness is more of a matter of one’s behavior than someone’s fortune or luck. Therefore, when one becomes dependent on factors such as material circumstance or their position in society, they are unable to achieve happiness. This is because their happiness can only come from them. Consequently, when they experience hardship in gaining this state, the blame is their own and not the world in which they live. Furthermore, their choice to seek happiness is their own because they have failed to realize that they can be happy without seeking approval from the world.

Aristotle asserts that happiness is something that is self-sufficient and final. He supports this by stating that happiness is desirable only in itself and not for the sake of something else that is different. People choose for themselves other things such as honor or pleasure. However, he asserts that the reason why human beings choose these things is because people attribute them to happiness. This once again shows that everyone is in charge of their own happiness. A person has the capability of choosing what may bring them happiness and thus rejecting what does not. This thus proves that the difficulty that is experienced when searching for happiness is a result of an individual and his nature and not the world in which he or she lives.

It is significant to note that attributing the hardship of finding happiness to human nature can be challenged by those who blame the world in which human beings find themselves. This argument is supported by Aristotle’s definition of happiness that includes all other things that people commonly find to be good virtues. Some of these things encompass but are not limited to pleasure, prudence, humility, and wisdom. To be more specific, it is common knowledge for people to perceive noble actions of a person as being virtuous. This, therefore, means that happiness derives from what people think of it. This leads to the fact that people are adapting personalities who, they think, will gain approval from others. They change who they are as this is what will bring them happiness. Therefore, this argument demonstrates that happiness is gained from the world and it no longer comes from a person. As a result, human nature cannot bear the blame for people not being able to find it easily. The blame in this case shifts to the world in which human beings find themselves, a world that makes them dependent on other people’s opinions of themselves to attain happiness.

The argument that happiness is hard to obtain as a consequence of human nature serves to demonstrate that a person has the ability to make his or her own life how he or she wants it to be. There is no need to place so much effort in conforming to the world and its definition of happiness. Furthermore, it is completely unnecessary for people to change themselves, which is a factor that will lead them to lose themselves in an attempt to receive happiness that has proven to be quite elusive to them. The world that a person lives in neither determines nor defines happiness. For this reason, people cannot blame the world for difficulty they face in obtaining happiness. This blame should be placed on an individual for his or her failure to recognize that it is human nature that controls one’s ability to gain happiness as illustrated by Aristotle’s arguments on happiness.

In conclusion, happiness has proven to be a concept that is difficult to be found among human beings. This hardship should be blamed on human nature and not necessarily on the world which a person lives in. Since happiness depends squarely on human beings, there is a need for an individual to realize that it is him or her alone who can decide on personal happiness. The fact that happiness is the final goal that makes one’s life to be total further demonstrates that it is only human nature that can be blamed when this happiness is not achieved. Human virtues, which require one to have strong will, ensure that people do not succumb to the world’s connotation of happiness, thus preventing them from achieving the happiness they seek. Moreover, the fact that a person is rational and thus has the thinking capacity proves that he or she is capable of acquring own happiness. However, it is significant to note the notion that hardship in finding happiness can also be blamed on the world. This is due to Aristotke argument that happiness can be found in what other people consider virtuos. Because of this reason, external factors of the world become significant in determing one’s happiness. Consequntly, the difficulty in achieving happiness can to some extent be blamed on the world.

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