Being human means acknowledging the fact that there is only one option in life that option is the moral option . This moral option tells us that we should value life. The question is, how? Aristotle teaches that all human acts have a purpose. What then is the between the good and this purpose? It comes from the basic understanding of making life worth living. Life is worth living when we shall have discovered our very purpose. The very value of life comes from the purpose. To realize this value means to realize our happiness. Happiness is something that is desirable in itself. All other things are merely requirements for happiness. They are mere instruments. They are our means for attainment of happiness. To live a dignified life means to live well, to be happy.
But we must clearly understand what is that ultimately makes the person happy. This is because there is a kind of happiness that only answers the call and whims of a person’s ego. It is individualistic. It responds only to an inner call. The moral dimension, however, responds to a broader reality. The human person belongs to a world. He belongs to others. This world is unexplored because he confines his moral puzzles to the very question of the self when in fact, he has a family to treasure, some friends to cherish, or a work that renders his waking hours meaningful. In this sense, a life is worth living is one that is open to the moral possibilities of the human person.
Thus, human happiness is not one’s ego. It is in being with others. It is by being in the world. It is fundamentally the essence of human freedom. Our freedom tells us that we have claim to truth. The truth is a life well lived. It is well lived because we have a reason to be. Our freedom opens our path towards a life lived fully because we have realized that our very value comes from the exercise of making the lives of others worth living because we recognized there freedom. Achievement is never personal. The true measure of human happiness is the happiness that others achieved through us . In helping others realize themselves, we also realize more fully.
Thus, our real task as persons is to say that our final goal, which is happiness, should include the happiness of the least of our fellow human beings. To respect others is to respect their dignity as persons. This is something that we can achieve by making sure that our social institutions achieve their moral ends. This is something that we can do by treating others as persons with dignity who also desire their freedom, and as such, the only moral option is to help them realize who they are. Only then can society be just and oriented towards its authentic moral end.