Jesus taking the NYTimes quiz to find out whether or not he is “flourishing.”
Well, the world is stupid, so I’m gonna spend this important blogging moment taking the New York Times Flourishing Quiz to find out if I’m really flourishing or not. I guess I should take the time to know, because, as we all know, not flourishing is a grave sin. Let’s get started, shall we? Here’s the introduction to the quiz:
The first step toward better overall well-being is to think about how you’re doing in different parts of your life. Our quiz can help. At Harvard’s Human Flourishing Program, Tyler J. VanderWeele uses this quiz to gauge a person’s overall physical, mental and emotional well-being. While he says there’s no specific score to determine if someone is definitely flourishing, the higher the score, the better. Just taking the quiz, and reflecting on the questions, can put you on a path to making positive changes. And comparing yourself to the national average — it was about 70 before the pandemic and 65 in June 2020 — can give you a sense of where you stand.
The first question is how satisfied with “life as a whole” I am. Hmmm. I feel like this is an invitation to dissatisfaction which I happen to know is the opposite of achieving a “flourishing” life, but I get what they’re trying to say. I gonna with 5, because I don’t know how satisfied I am because I don’t have time to think about it because I don’t care. The second question, “how happy do you usually feel,” is…wow…actually pretty crushing. Are you kidding me? Happiness is not my shtick. What profits a person to be happy all the time? Happiness is fine, I guess, but if I ‘usually’ felt happy I think it would at least be boring, if not impossible. The third question is about overall health. Five again, I think. Question four is overall mental health. You know what, I’m going to live big and go with 6. I think I’m doing basically ok on that score. Question five is the meaningfulness of my work–“to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?” Hmmm, well, what would be the whirlwind if I didn’t do it? I’m gonna go with 8 because I think everyone would starve and not be able to find their shoes when they want to leave the house. Six is whether or not I understand my “purpose in life.” That’s easy. I’m gonna go with ten. It is to love and glorify God and to be your morning cup of coffee. Phew, this isn’t so hard after all. Oh never mind, here we go off the cliff. Number 7 is, “I always act to promote good in all circumstances, even in difficult and challenging situations.” My goodness, do people really put a good score on this? And what kind of mean person would even shove in such a question? I don’t know if you can spot it, but the word “always” is problematical. No one “always” acts to “promote good” most particularly because none of us really even know what “good” is. We think it is generally the opposite of what it really is. I guess I’ll be honest and “good” and put a one. My goodness, eight is just as bad. “I am always able to give up some happiness now for greater happiness later.” For heaven’s sake (that’s just a little joke), I have never been able to do that “always.” Sometimes, but not always. I guess I’ll go with 2 because I really do believe in heaven. Nine is a little bit better. “I am content with my relationships and friendships.” That’s a ten for sure. And so is ten, “My relationships are as satisfying as I would like them to be.” Honestly, I don’t really know what that means. I think the best way to have nice relationships with people is not to have very big expectations of those people. Also, the fastest way to not be satisfied with relationships is to stop and ask oneself if one is satisfied. Works every time. I guess I’ll go with 8 because I feel like I need to balance out those ones from earlier. Ok. Let’s see the score…..63! That’s not bad. Apparently my score “closely matches the way many people have felt during the coronavirus crisis.” Also, I should “Think about the areas where you scored the lowest. You might benefit from developing a new interest, practicing gratitude, doing a good deed or forging a deeper connection with someone you love,” and I can click another link to find simple ways to help me “flourish.” I’m not gonna click that because I have better things to do, like make my own quiz:
Anne’s Quiz To Help You Figure Out If You Are Flourishing
One: How much time do you spend praying every day? (like, quantify the minutes) And what do you pray about? How much do you complain to God about how much you hate everything? Or are you lying to yourself?
Two: How much do you read the Bible? (like, quantify the minutes per day) When you’re reading it, do you get angry with God because he is seriously disappointing in all his works and words, especially in allowing a pandemic to ruin everything? Or, do you notice that he is always good and you are not always good? Just a thought.
Three: Have you taken a walk? Instead of typing no, just go take a walk.
Four: Have you given yourself freely for the good (no scare quotes) of another person without thought about whether or not such an activity will benefit you at all or make you feel anything. AND, has that free gift actually been painful and made you feel bad because it wasn’t fun and the person didn’t care and was actually someone who is 1. your enemy or 2. just really hard to be with?
Five: When was the last time you ate pie? I think if you haven’t eaten pie in a while, you are probably not flourishing.
Well, that’s it. And remember, it’s not your job to “flourish.” It’s your job to love and obey Jesus no matter how happy or unhappy that makes you. Also, spending a lot of time thinking about your own happiness will make you 1. unhappy and 2. other people unhappy because it’s a stupid thing to try to do and this is a stupid time to be alive. Have whatever kind of day you’re going to have and for heaven’s sake (not a joke) stop thinking about yourself all the time.