Aristotle, Friendship, & Social Media

One of the first polymaths in history, Aristotle, wrote profusely on subjects as diverse as poetry to mathematics, and metaphysics to zoology, and believe it or not, happiness and friendships.

Aristotle’s ethical theory can be understood through two broad concepts: eudaimonia and the golden mean. Eudaimonia (sounds like “you-di-monia”) is translated as “human flourishing” or “happiness.” As is demonstrated in his work, eudaimonia is the idea that humans ultimately seek happiness. It is an end in and of itself. One does not seek happiness for any other reason besides to be happy. Aristotle derived that this is the essential goal of our lives and that this ought to be the framework for our ethical system.

To achieve a state of eudaimonia, Aristotle followed with his conception of the golden mean: a general set of guidelines that outlines how man ought to act to achieve the state of eudaimonia.  The golden mean postulates that it is better to live in such a way that you choose the middle of two possible extremes. In situations of danger, one should not be cowardly or rash. Instead, one should be willing to act, but mindful of the dangers. As Aristotle eventually explains, the golden mean prescribes certain behavior on friendship.

Aristotle outlines that there are three different ways in which friendships are pursued: to help each other achieve a state of eudaimonia, to take advantage of the other, or for the simple pleasure that someone may bring you. Obviously, Aristotle prescribes that we pursue friendships for the mutual benefit of helping each other flourish as humans – to help each other pursue that state of eudaimonia.

Well, Dooley & Associates and Aristotle have exactly that in common.

In our modern digital era of endless marketing possibilities, the rule of thumb is simple: act in such a manner that is mutually beneficial. An excellent method for achieving mutually beneficial relationships is by effectively utilizing social media. Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites work best for the businesses that learn how to be a part of the conversation – instead of trying to be domineering and pushy.

The same qualities that make a good friend – listening, assisting, providing, caring – are the same qualities that your business should attempt to achieve. Aristotle would tell you that having the mindset of creating mutually beneficial situations for each other is the only true way to encourage the flourishing of mutual happiness. That sounds pretty good to us.

 

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