Practical Philosophy

Increasing Human Flourishing

There are a lot of jobs in the world. Roles that we can fall into and inhabit and make things happen by doing. Though we may someday live in a world where the need for human effort is nonexistent, we’re not there yet. So we can show up, do our work, collect our paycheck, and go home.

But there must be something beyond that. When you consider what it is to be alive, I always come up with a hope to leave this place better than I found it. And to do that, something more is required than filling in a hole in a large organizational chart. To actually make an impact you must do something more than your role, you must have an impact larger than yourself.

And that impact should have the effect of increasing the amount of human flourishing in the world.

We humans can be a competitive and jealous bunch, but we find it hard to begrudge for too long the people who’ve really made a tangible, positive impact in the world. Surely we can disagree about the specific of those terms — maybe a politician can qualify, maybe a soldier can — but we can’t really ignore those who pull it off.

So I guess I bring this up mostly as a mission: I want, more than anything else to increase human flourishing in the world. I’m still not sure the best way to do that, but I know it’s the most worthy goal I’ve found.

Like this essay? Subscribe via RSS or email, or follow on Twitter and you'll never miss another like it.