The Straight Path

In sum, all of our strategies and objectives in their deepest sense are tailored towards the attainment of happiness, both on a personal level and on a collective level. As Aristotle said: “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” And in the modern period, Immanuel Kant laid out the three basic rules for happiness: “Something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.” Happiness is thus an art, and making others happy is an even greater art.

Nor can true love be hidden, no matter how hard one tries to conceal or mask the feeling of true love. As Khalil Gibran said: “True love cannot be found where it truly does not exist, nor can it be hidden where it truly does.” Whether true love translates into sexual intercourse is an issue that is wholly separate from the issue of true love. Ideally, true love should underpin sexual intercourse. Casual sex was something that the Stoics had prohibited. As suggested by the famous Stoic philosopher Epictetus in a collection of axioms and philosophical thoughts titled “The Art of Living,” sexual intercourse is something that should include integrity due to the impact that sexual intercourse has on a person’s psyche. Because casual sex lacks integrity and can have long-term detrimental effects on a person’s psyche, casual sex has been prohibited by both the Stoics as well as the world’s major religions.

In addition to the ethical and moral aspect of happiness, there is also the material and pragmatic side of happiness. Business and teaching are seen as the most noble professions in the Islamic tradition. After all, the Prophet Muhammad himself was both a businessman and a teacher before becoming the founder of one of the world’s major religions. Although there is an allure to government and the mainstream media in the United States, government and the mainstream media are confounded by warmongering, which in turn renders the government and mainstream media industry as unhealthy and unsustainable in the long run. Dan Pfeiffer, an adviser to Former President Barack Obama, highlighted the anxiety and paranoia that besets people in the American government and American mainstream media industry in a book titled “Yes We Still Can.” Also, a growing number of individuals are leaving American politics, as evinced by the number of individuals who have decided not to seek re-election in Congress.

Moreover, warmongering cannot coexist with the economic interdependence and commerce that is vital for upholding order and stability in the international system. Economic interdependence and commerce have to take precedence over unhealthy and unsustainable warmongering. If I were to come up with a dream job, it would be a diplomatic position that fosters commercial and economic ties between the United States and other countries, and then go back to expanding my business and teaching activities. If I cannot land a dream job such as a diplomatic position that fosters commercial and economic ties between various peoples and nations, then I would be content and satisfied with expanding my personal business and my teaching activities. In any case, “a goal properly set is halfway reached.”

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