What is flourishing? Another word is thriving. It’s way more than just being alive, just getting through. It’s living fully.
I first came across the word when putting together a course on ethics, and so read a bit of Aristotle. The core word for him: flourishing. How do we flourish? He was for a middle way (don’t eat too much, don’t drink too much) – except when it came to justice. One can never get too much justice.
There are lots of problems with Aristotle – notably that for him, flourishing was only for men, and in fact, only for the educated, moneyed citizens of Athens (not the slaves, the poor, etc).
My concern: all people. How do we flourish?
Actually, I’m not concerned about all people: some people are tyrants, murderers, rapists. Some people threaten violence to get their way. They believe they have the right to coerce. Of course, great if these people can be reached.
But my main concern is “low hanging fruit” – people who are doing what they can to flourish and to help others flourish, people already for human rights, including the right to flourish.
How do we flourish? What do most of us need?
Some people thrive under the most difficult of circumstances. Schindler failed at one business venture after another until World War II. Then he more than rose to the occasion: he saved over one thousand Jews through his uncanny ability to know how to manipulate the prominent Nazis around him.
Most people are overwhelmed by circumstances like that.
So, in fact, one thing that most people need is a world around us in which we – who tend to need less challenging circumstances than Schindler – can survive and flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually.
But each of us has different needs. Some people are very well physically, but have inner blocks. Some people are flourishing intellectually, but need more energy. Some people need an education system that helps them think things through. And so on.
That’s why this Wellness Emporium has more than one aspect.
The question: what do you need to flourish fully?
The easiest way to come to an answer is to see what pulls you, and try that. It may well bring you to at least part of what you need.