Is a Lifestyle an Ethical Issue?


Is a Lifestyle an Ethical Issue?

The word “lifetime” was coined by an Austrian psychiatrist and philosopher Alfred Adler in his newly published book, The Case of Miss R. With the implied meaning of “the complete personality of a person as established at birth”. According to the dictionary, the life one leads should last forever. In our day, this concept has been increasingly taken up by people who believe in living “the good life”, that is, pursuing happiness even when they may have to work through some difficult circumstances.

The Case of Miss R has become one of the seminal works of modern individual psychology, drawing on the work of leading psychotherapists including Weber, Sartre, Freud, and Jung. The research done on the lifestyle showed that, following the death of a spouse, the person now referred to as Miss R has no interest in continuing a relationship with anyone else; she has no desire to get married or form intimate relationships. This contrasts with her pre-death image as the “Guardian of the Marriage Tree”. In addition, the person in the LIFESTYLE postulates that she is more in tune with, and sensitive to, her deceased husband’s (her father’s) spiritual needs than the deceased’s prior spouse was.

As described in the book and its accompanying theory by Prof. Carl Jung, the LIFESTYLE theory, is a two-part model. In the first part of the theory, one must examine ones’ behavior to discover deeper layers of one’s personality. In the second part, based on LIFESTYLE analysis, an external force or source is discovered by examining the LIFESTYLE Polaroid camera that reveals a person’s innermost thoughts and feelings. Following the analysis, an individual is then asked to map his or her current lifestyle on a grid called the “Lifestyle Content Grid.”

Based on the Polaroid images of Miss R, I chose to focus my theory on the behavior of the woman who was memorialized as the mother in this work. In looking at the lifestyle content grid, the red grid corresponded to the top of the page in my blog. The left side of the grid represented my definition of family life. The right side represented leisure activities that I deemed important to my family and friends.

Based on the photos in the book and my social media analysis of the deceased, I created five categories that separated various aspects of my life. The top of the list, which represented my life as a whole, was called “isure,” and comprised of items such as my computer and iPhone, a home computer, gardening supplies, hiking boots, a membership at a gym, and a love of sports. The middle section represented a variety of things, such as music, movies, craft projects, travel, fitness, traveling, wine, television, biking, movies, gardening, a love of children, and a membership at a community college. The second row represented our family life. This comprised items such as a husband and wife bedroom, outdoor furniture, a workshop, a craft room, a pool, a porch swing, a play room, a video game room, an office, a kitchen/cooking space, and a home office. The third row represented other activities associated with my lifestyle, including wine tasting, cooking lessons, hiking, taking a dog to a park, going out with friends, and visiting with other collectors.

Based on the research discussed above, it is easy to understand why my co-worker suggested we read an etiquette guide on the lifestyle. It allows us to explore, in safe, non-judgmental ways, the different elements of our lifestyle and how they impact others. Hopefully other readers will follow my lead and create their own grid of personal criteria for inclusion in their own LIFESTYLE. Perhaps, in the years to come we will have a much broader definition of a Lifestyle and a wider range of activities to include!