We often wish people a Happy New Year today, and I thought I would take a Stoic twist on that and offer you a Happy New Year. For those of us interested in philosophy, what constitutes a “happy new year” is a little bit different than the mundane way that that salutation is used by most people.
We know that eudaimonia is often translated as “happiness” in English but carries a deeper meaning for us. We seek to keep our internal states in a manner conformable to nature, to exercise our faculties excellently, and above all to give mindful attention to ourselves, our thoughts and judgements, our actions, and our social roles.
Even if the folks wishing you well don’t quite mean what we might by the greeting, use it as a reminder for living our philosophy each day.
So in the spirit of the new year, I wish you excellence, virtue, and happiness.
Eudaimon New Year!