It is interesting to look at modern specialists and essayists’ opinions where can people find happiness today? The true contents of happiness are stated in the article “A Formula for Happiness” by Arthur C. Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute. Brooks states that people realize life and view happiness depending on genes, one-time events and basic values: faith, family, community and work. He pays special attention to the last one. According to Brooks, meaningful work and success considered as passion can make people appier. Brooks cites as an example Franklin D.
Roosevelt’s words: “Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it Yablonskaya 2 lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort” (Brooks 2). “In other words, the secret to happiness through work is earned success” Brooks adds further. (Brooks 2) Many people consider work as the source of happiness, but for some unclear reasons they fail to find happiness and wonder what they do wrong. Usually they think it is because they work and earn not really much. The truth is that they look for pleasure got from work ot in the right way. The value of success is not in material result, it is in improving skills and mastering.
Then, Brooks broadens this idea with the phrase: can measure your earned success in any currency you choose. You can count it in dollars, sure ” or in kids taught to read, habitats protected or souls saved. ” It is the great view of success; with such an approach, success will become happiness indeed. Richard Schoch, a cultural critic, in his essay “A Critique of Positive Psychology”‘, assumes work as the obvious source of happiness. He states that ‘Work itself”challenging, ewarding and secure employment”also contributes greatly to happiness” (Schoch 451).
In fact, it would be strange if successful work could not lead to happiness. Work takes the large part of everyone’s life; being passionate about work, loving it, seeing use of work for society, getting positive results from work – all these are powerful sources of bright emotions and happiness. When a person puts all the efforts and then gets the benefits of it, he or she realizes that life has sense. It definitely makes people happy. Meaningful work and success are the most accessible sources of happiness s they depend on person’s skills and qualities.
The next factor leading to happiness involves people. Person can reach the state of the highest happiness if he or she gives love for other people; love is the talent and art, and the hard task to manage. The best demonstration of love is help and care. The article “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy; Then You probably Aren’t Spending It Right” by Elizabeth W. Dunn, Daniel T. Gilbert; and Timothy D. Wilson, which considers money and proper way of using it, communicates to readers really precious advice: “Human beings are the most social animal on ur planet.
Given how deeply and profoundly social we are, Yablonskaya 3 it is not any wonder that the quality of our social relationships is a strong determinant of our happiness. Because of this, almost anything we do to improve our connections with others tends to improve our happiness as well”and that includes spending money’ (Dunn 440). Egoism and loneliness cannot bring happiness; they make people’s hearts dark and cold. One philosopher said that altruism would rule over egoism; other peoples smiles and gladness are the real values as happiness can be found only with other people.
Love, the most precious pleasure and treasure, is always about other person. In Arthur Brooks’ article we can see the same message about the impossibility of full happiness without helping others: “To pursue the happiness within our reach, we do best to pour ourselves into faith, family, community and meaningful work. To share happiness, we need to fight for free enterprise and strive to make its blessings accessible to all” (Brooks 3). Happiness of the whole society is equal to everyone’s happiness; simply because seeing despondency and distress can diminish positive emotions easily.
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher, in his essay “Winter Notes on Summer Impressions” of 1863 also expressed the ideas how to become happy trough helping to others. According to his point of view, happiness can be found by coming-to-be a personality. This process Of coming-to-be a Personality means a willful, totally conscious and absolute self-sacrifice, obliged by nobody, for the benefit of all people around (Dostoyevsky 65). Such self-sacrifice is a sign of the highest power, the highest self-possession, he highest own free will.
He expresses his main idea about happiness with the significant and impressive words: ‘The highest happiness of mine is to sacrifice to you everything, and that you will not suffer from it… Love each other… ” (Dostoyevsky 66). Concerning about welfare of others, doing the best for the society, giving love and smiles – exactly these things raise a human above the ordinary vanity and let him to become a meaningful person whose kindness gains everlasting gratitude in people’s hearts. This is the supreme manifestation of happiness; this is the best way to become happy.
Yablonskaya 4 It may seem strange, but the other source of happiness can be its opposite side. In the essay “Happiness: Enough Already’ Sharon Begley, an award- winning staff writer at Newsweek, suggests readers to worry about happiness less… in order to become happier. Begley presents new point of view: too much happiness and constant happiness are even harmful; people should not strive for that as it can spoil the life. What is more, the contrast of happiness – sadness and melancholy ” is sometimes useful and definitely not dangerous. Negative emotions are able direct and change people’s thinking.
One especially convincing argument against constant happiness is: “As Flaubert said, to be chronically happy one must also be stupid” (Begley 456). Being always happy means not to know the dark side of life; not knowing the dark side of life means not to value good life and be really happy. This is a paradox, so constant happiness is impossible; everything is known from comparing. To be always happy means not to feel happiness deeply. There is no shame and disaster to lose happiness and experience joyless period of life; a brave, strong person who is able to face and manage it, will become etter and will enjoy and value happiness even more.
It is like in the unity and struggle of opposites principle in Georg Hegel’s philosophy. The constant rush for happiness is, to the contrary, factor leading away from happiness. “The happiness industry sends the insistent message that moderate levels of well- being aren ‘t enough: not only can we all be happier, but we practically have a duty to be so” (Begley 455). Richard Schoch shares this opinion: “Happiness is also a growth industry. Self-help books generate $1 billion in annual sales, while the global market for anti-depressants stands valued at an astounding 1 7 billion” (Schoch 452).
So-called happiness industry spoils the meaning and value of happiness, misinterprets it, and leads to the illusive happiness which is worse than sadness. Therefore the road to real happiness, strange though, includes also refusal to constant, not full and silly happiness and some periods of sadness. So many ways that lead to happiness… For every person, it is his or her own way. However, the more sources of happiness are known, the more chances to become happy exist.