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Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet. A native Californian of Italian and Mexican descent, Gioia (pronounced JOY-uh) received[…]

To live truthfully to your own principles.

Question: What is the measure of a good life?

Dana Gioia: Well a measure of a good life, I think, is to . . . to live truthfully to your own principles; to . . . to do work; to be kind; to be generous; to have responsibility to the people you love and who love you. And that’s a very simple, you know, measure. Of course you can create, you know, marvelous inventions, gather vast wealth. That strikes me as very secondary. My sense of a good life is . . . is in a very domestic, human sense. And I think people need to take their life seriously. You know you only get one . . . one time around the block. And you . . . What you want to come out of that is a sense that you’ve lived your life well.

Recorded On: 7/6/07