It can be good for someone to sit and watch the sunrise, it can be good to watch the rain. For someone else it can be good to sing a song or two, or read long books about the most obscure things. Others will find the good in their lives by rolling in the grass, or splashing along in a stream. There’s good to be had in finding something to eat, in staring into space, in doing nothing much at all.
Do dogs and pigs experience good in the world? It certainly seems that they do. Dogs are downright joyful at times, and pigs seem to enjoy rooting around in the mud. I wouldn’t be too very much surprised to learn that fish like to swim, although I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t. Swimming for fish is like being in the air for us, and we both might take each for granted most of the time.
But there are ways to think about what is good for someone without having to think about whether it’s enjoyable for them. Whether fishes enjoy swimming or not, whether we enjoy breathing the air, it’s certainly good for both of us that we each do each of those things, it would be bad for us if something got between us and those goods.
Having good trees in which to build their nests is good for birds, and being able to soar among the clouds is good for them too. It’s good for butterflies and bees to be able to fly, to eat, to reproduce like butterflies, birds and bees do. And it’s good for the trees to be healthy and strong, to have water and sun as they grow, a good tree needs these things and so to have them is good too.
I don’t know that I’ve got any better argument than this, for why we ought to live and let live, but what I’ve said seems good enough for me, and because there are others in the world for whom things can be good, I hope it’s good enough for you, and them, too.
It’s good for those who live in the world when they are able to live well, to have the goods that life offers them. It would be good for us to let others live well, and it would be good for them. Be good for the world, and the world will be good for you.