“Happiness is the meaning and
purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” -Aristotle
What is Happiness? Is it readily available or do we have to
pursue it? The Pursuit of Happiness however
is characterized as a basic right said in the Declaration of Independence to
openly seek after happiness and live in a way that makes you happy and
contented, as long as you don’t do anything unlawful or disregards the privileges
of others. This movie “The Pursuit of Happyness’ signifies the meaning of
happiness for a homeless salesman who turned on to achieve happiness for
himself and for the ones he loved. Success and Happiness for Christopher Gardner,
originates from seeking after your dreams, buckling down and beating obstacles.
I’m not what happened to me. I am
what I choose to become – Chris Gardner
The movie is about a man, Christopher Gardner who spent all
his family savings on a bone-density scanner, but unfortunately his idea of
selling these scanners and making money for his family does not make it big as
he planned on. Soon after he fell into financial troubles and ended up living
alone with his son after his wife left them since she can’t deal with the
financial problems. Chris ends up losing his house and has to relocate to a
shelter home with his 5 year old son, but not once did Chris moan about
anything because he knew he would be happy no matter what as long as he was
with his son. Following quite a while of living destitute and
battling through a difficult temporary job, Chris Gardner is offered the sole
position at brokerage firm.
“The world is your
oyster. It’s up to you to find the pearls”- Chris Gardner
When I write down the word Happiness with a ‘y’, it is marked
misspelled by the dictionary and pops up with the options where the correct way
of spelling this word lies. When I knock the doors of my brain I came to ponder
that the word Happiness in the movie title with a “y’ signifies an important
aspect i.e. it is up to you to choose what happiness means for you and pursue
it in a way that isn’t illegal. It’s you who’ll give a meaning to your
happiness and chase your excellence in order to gain it. Being removed from
their home and confronting budgetary troubles, the father-child duo confronted
various battles every day. However, the little bits of happiness they find, in
spite of all adversities, give an endearing plot to this film. Maybe Happiness
is something that is derived from culmination of many things and not stands on
its own. Happiness to him was overcoming his adversity and rising up against
all the odds to be a good father to his son unlike his own father.
The movies’ philosophy basically lies in the name of the
title itself. Happiness is something that won’t come wandering to you sitting
in isolation rather happiness lies in exercising your virtues to achieve your
dreams that act as moderator for your happiness. In fact happiness is an end in
itself that all people are aspiring towards to attain. The theme of this movie
is relatable in many ways to Aristotle’s philosophy in Nicomachean Ethics.
Aristotle defines happiness as pursuing ones role and acting it out instead
waiting for fate to show its luck. It’s an activity that we do while we are reaching
for a goal or product. Chris and his son were happy all along even though they
lived in conditions that were not so livable. When Chris came up with the idea
of selling bone density scanner he probably did it for a purpose or goal. He
wanted to create a good life for his family by inventing something that would
make a lot of money but that invention caused him to lose everything he has
except his son.
Aristotle believes that as long as one is being rational they
are happy. At times Chris decided to sleep in a bathroom because he had no
place to go and he only did that for his son so that his son could have a place
to sleep that night. Happiness means pursuing a good life that is worthy living,
and that’s what Chris was trying to do. Aristotle also states that in order to
be completely happy one has to be virtuous. Chris showed many signs of virtue
during the movie, but the most important virtue of all, was his courage. He had
a lot of courage when he decided to build an invention without knowing if it
was going to be something good or bad. He had courage when his wife left him
and his son; he had to live for his son. He had the courage to do whatever it
took to make his son happy. While he had so many troubles to consider and think
about he always found a way to make his son smile and be happy. Aristotle
agrees that happiness doesn’t mean getting everything someone wants in life, it
means making the most of what one has. Towards the end of the movie, Chris is
offered a job and he immediately accepts, so in that sense he was pursuing a
Aristotle describes three ways to pursue a good life;
happiness, flourishing, and doing well. Chris makes the best use of all three
of these attributes. He is being happy and making his son happy, day-by-day he
and his son are flourishing, and time goes on he starts to do well in his life.
At the end of the movie he becomes a multi-billionaire making his life very
good for him and his son.
is as activity in accordance with virtue i.e. doing well what is worth doing
and what we are good at. The human soul should exercise their existence in the
shadow of virtue. He should be able to live a life of reason that is concerned
with the actions performed. According to
Aristotle, happiness is attaining all the goods that may include health,
wealth, knowledge, friends, that lead to the perfection of human nature and to
the enrichment of human life. Happiness is gained having a balance in life i.e.
inner diligence combined with the external goods that are vital for fulfilling
your needs. This expects us to settle on decisions, some of which might be
exceptionally troublesome. It often happens that the lesser good promises us
prompt delight but on the other hand in order to achieve a greater good one has
to make certain sacrifices in life. Just as Chris made sacrifices in order to
earn a life that can provide a good life for his son. Chris here is
doing what Aristotle said was necessary to produce something good, “It is the doers that become achievers of
fine and good things”. Our happiness is somehow
dependent on the orientation of our use of earthly goods toward a reality
greater than ourselves.
Infact Happiness is the supreme good. The difficulty is that
people don’t agree on what makes for a happy or good life, so the purpose of
the Ethics is to find an answer to this question. It
is seen that everything gardener was striving for was making him one step
forward towards the ultimate goal that is happiness for himself and his family.
The life courses that he went through reshaped him one way or
the other and ultimately all that he wanted was tot be happy. The little walk
he had with his son and the small talks he had with him were carefree time for
him. He didn’t let the adversity hit his face. He wanted his son to have trust
in him. He consider himself a loser but this was all meant to motivate him to
keep moving forward.
who is really virtuous will find virtuous actions, in pursuit of noble goals, a
pleasure and not a burden. But he thought that it was a necessary condition for
happiness that one should have a sufficient endowment of external goods.
Moreover, he believed that even a virtuous man could cease to be happy if
disaster overtook himself and his family.
part of my life this part is called happiness. He was infact good with numbers
and dealing with people and that what was needed to be a stockbroker
Happiness is something which we can only pursue and maybe we can never actually
never have it.
There are numerous cases in the matter of how individuals in
humble beginnings continue on to a higher level. We as a whole realize that
trip. In accordance there is an ultimate end that we all want to achieve in one
way or the other. This end in itself to all our activities is in fact
‘Happiness’ that we all are aspiring to. In our quest for satisfaction it is
important to perceive which ways are illusions and which roads are deadlocks.
Some are deceiving and some are legitimate. Seeking after happiness
is an indication of how far we have come, however it possess a suggestion too
to how we have to enhance and improve when everything turns out bad and moves in
Others may question your
credentials, your papers, your degrees. Others may look for all kinds of ways
to diminish your worth. But what is inside you no one can take from you or
tarnish. This is your worth, who you really are, your degree that can go with
you wherever you go, that you bring with you the moment you come into a room,
that can’t be manipulated or shaken. Without that sense of self, no amount of
paper, no pedigree, and no credentials can make you legit. No matter what, you have
to feel legit inside first.