good life and what it means nowadays. In order to support the discussion we will summarize the ideas from two articles, compare and contrast them. The articles which are the subject of the present critique include Robert C. Solomon "Strategic planning -For the good life" and Joanne B. Ciulla "leisure and consumption."
Let us begin by summarizing Solomon's ideas. In his article, the writer points out to the importance which planning has in order to have a good life. Naturally, there are no universal coordinates which define life as being good, but normally people tend to appreciate things like family, friendship, romantic love, security, freedom, good health, wealth, etc. According to Solomon, much of the negative things which we have to deal with are the result not of bad luck or misfortune, but of merely bad planning (or no planning at all).
He underlines the fact that the core of the problem is to be found in the general mentality. People are taught to plan their careers and to support their expectations accordingly. Life planning might be limited to marriage and children and does not always work out for the best. Much of the disappointment that we need to face comes from our lack of will to prioritize our values and act in a manner which is most likely to lead us in a direction where they are fulfilled.
Planning a career might help us achieve a single goal (that is the professional one), but this does not mean that this factor exclusively represents the road to happiness. One might argue that life is completely unpredictable and therefore the mere thought of planning it is foolish. It is true that tragedies occur and this happens independently of our will (think about illnesses or death), but many things are not that unpredictable.
Life has been the same for ever. The communication means and technology are recording fast pace developments which leave us speechless, but the things and values which make people happy are the same. Solomon draws the attention to coordinates such as friendship, family life, time to enjoy it, a sense of fulfillment, the respects of one's neighbor and self-respect besides, good health and the "good things" that money will buy. Perhaps the most important consideration that the author makes is that chance does not simply happen. There are a lot of things that we could do in order to construct our lives in the desired direction. All we need to do is have a clear thought about what really makes us happy and then work in order to achieve them.
Ciulla on the other hand declares that leisure is "a special social experience which consists of activities that are freely chosen and good in themselves. In addition, leisure brings out what is best and most distinctive about being human- our abilities to think, feel, reflect, create and learn. We need leisure o develop wisdom." It is obvious that leisure means much more than having free time. It involves using that time when we do not work in a manner which is constructive and pleasant for us.
One interesting aspect that we could consider is the relation between work and amusements. These latter ones are defined as actions which help people get distracted from something else. In the older days both men and women believed that the time spent working gave them the right to spend their free time being amused. However, things changed and starting from the eighties Americans started to value goods more than amusements. In other words, instead of investing their money in activities which were amusing, entertaining and constructive, they chose…