“How solution as abhorrent, however, it was

       “How can a man lived a good life?”, a question that was raised by various philosopher starting from the beginning of the humanity. Everyone has their own answer to it. Some may state that the “good life” is giving everything away to charity, while others may believe that one cannot be living a good life unless they are rich and famous. From my own perspective, in order to live a meaningful and successful life, one must achieve a balance between one’s self-interest, morals, and charitable character. One can then say they are living the good life when all these aspects reach equilibrium.           Firstly, it is undoubtedly that there are thousands of people suffering from poverty, starvation, diseases around the world. However, we should recognize that there are still problems in our own country or our own lives that needed to be solved. We can not just give everything we had for the good of others. Such ” selfish” aspect is also an aspect of the good life. In the article “Lifeboats Ethics”, author Garrett Hardin used a simple illustration to explain his “lifeboat” theory. A lifeboat has a capacity of 60, and there were 50 people on the boat, and there were 100 people swimming in the water. If people tried to save all 100 people, everyone would end up falling into the water. If they tried to take 10 people out of 100, how should they decide which 10 they take? Chaos would be generated through this process, and people had to think about “safety factor”, which was an engineering that suggests never reach maximum capacity. Or they could adopt the ruthless method, ignoring those 100 people, which would generate no conflict, but also kept oneself safe. Many people viewed this solution as abhorrent, however, it was the best solution. Through this example, author Hardin reminds us that there is a limit which we can provide aid for the foreign country. The reality is that there is a limited amount of resource one can obtain. So if people donate a large amount of resource, there might not be a sufficient amount left to take care of their own people. It can potentially cause economic crisis and recession. Therefore, we need to balance between our interest, foreign affair interest, and our goodwill of helping others. In this case, we shall first assure there is enough resource for our own country to grow stronger, afterward, we can provide the additional resource to those who are less fortunate.      In addition, another challenge one must overcome before achieving the food life is the difference between our traditional view of charity and the reality of charity. People must recognize that helping others is an honorable action but is never purely generosity, as human, nothing people do is unselfish. In “The Gospel of Wealth” from Andrew Carnegie, he pierced the cover of charity and told people what it really was. He questioned the essence of people helping others. People are helping others because it makes them feel proud of themselves because they believed they made a difference in someone’s life. They rarely care about where their money was going, sometimes it might do more harm than good to the society. So people only gratified their own feelings, saved himself from annoyance, but ignored the possibility of his action would damage the society. This action was probably one of the most selfish and very worst actions of one’s life. Author Carnegie then proposes that assist can be done, but rarely or never to do all. Due to the lack of knowledge of the circumstances connected with each, the amount of assistance that could be given by individuals is necessarily limited. Thus, people should rarely assist others, and should only assist those who would help themselves. And rich people should know that the best means of benefiting the community is to “place within its reach the ladders upon which aspiring can rise”—— places like the public park, public library, public gallery, etc.. Thus, their surplus wealth would be spent in its maximum value of the good of the society. With such methods, the balance between the privilege of handworks, and what people can give away to others will be achieved. In this case, a graceful life is lived.       However, some would state that there is no such balance in first world countries. They believe the good life is found in charity and charity only. They stated that fortunate people indulge in far too many unnecessary expenses and have many luxuries that they could give away. In ” The Singer Solution to World Poverty”, author Peter Singer believed that a Brazilian who sells a homeless child to organ peddlers and an American who already has a TV and upgrades to a better one would share similarities. And later on, she reminded people that the money they spent in a good restaurant could potentially save hundreds of children from starvation in poor countries. Her statement evokes people’s guilty, however, such statement is wrong in the sense of ethics and reality. It is an undeniable fact that a vast majority of first world people work extremely hard to earn such money, so they deserve the chance to enjoy some “unnecessary” expenses. Author Singer cannot simply deny the effort of works. In addition, there is also poverty in first world countries, not only the people in third world nations are the one they need helps, why should people not help their own people first before they help someone from afar. Furthermore, if first world nations give too much away, they will become just as poor as the countries they were trying to help and it will be a never-ending circle of unfortunate people. This is why balance is the key when dealing with this issue.        To put all in a nutshell, a balance between luxuries and helping others must be achieved for a good life. It is impossible to devote oneself entirely to helping others. So in order to live a good life, a balance of self-interest, morals and charitable character is needed. This balance allows one to be pleased with their lifestyle while feeling good about helping others.


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