Now many events happen by chance, and events differing in importance; small pieces of good fortune or of its opposite clearly do not weigh down the scales of life one way or the other, but a multitude of great events if they turn out well will make life happier (for not only are they themselves such as to add beauty to life, but the way a man deals with them may be noble and good), while if they turn out ill they crush and maim happiness; for they both bring pain with them and hinder many activities. Yet even in these nobility shines through, when a man bears with resignation many great misfortunes, not through insensibility to pain but through nobility and greatness of soul.
— Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book 1, Section 10
I've realized that today, being told that officially I have the most amount of work ahead of me as I've previously considered, I'm actually happy. So deliriously happy that I actually went out and did the things I was going to do and have been actually *gasp* studying this evening. In fact, for those not in my CECS 311 class, that would explain today's Aristotle quote, because I've been reviewing (in this case, reading in depth that which I had skimmed) the works we've been told to study for Computer Ethics & Law.
So, today I had been idly wondering why I felt so relieved and so happy to learn that I was completely at the bottom of the barrel and would have a lot of work to deal with. I just got crapped on, partly through my own choices, and yet, I'm happy. I'm happy to have a second chance. I'm happy to be alive. I'm happy to be in classes. I'm happy to be studying.
I highly doubt that I have achieved any great "nobility" or "greatness of soul", and so I can guess this is perhaps only the ignorance of youth or perhaps I've found one small step on the paths of "nobility". Happiness to Aristotle is an end, a product of a complete life. I've had this odd problem that I believe my life thus far has been the sum of a number of smaller lives. (It's one of the reasons that the only post-death belief I hold hope for is reincarnation.) The past semester encompassed one of those mini-lives. In it, I was unhappy and I hated the universe. The complete and total end of it has left me happy. I'm certain that that is not what Aristotle meant, but it's humorous to me right now.