“Various well-being surveys indicate that happier societies invest heavily in health, welfare and education, are more equal and live within the limits imposed by the environment. Many less wealthy countries (and wealthy) do well in such surveys because cultural priority is placed on family and friends, on social capital rather than financial capital, on social equity rather than corporate power. It’s no coincidence that people in places like Britain and the US appear to be less happy than they were 40 years ago.”
The Subversion of Life, Liberty and Happiness
By Colin Todhunter
May 26, 2015
For thousands of years, people have been writing about happiness. The ancient Greek philosopher Aristippus concluded that happiness lies in the pursuit of external pleasure. Others, from Antisthenes to Buddha, have stressed that looking inwards and leading an ascetic life based on virtue, simplicity and inner peace is the route to happiness. And then there are those like Schopenhauer who seem to think that we can only be occasionally happy in what is essentially a miserable world: life only oscillates like a pendulum, back and forth between pain and boredom.
Happiness is, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “a state of well-being and contentment: a pleasurable or satisfying experience.”
For some, happiness runs much deeper than merely being content. Aristotle held that being virtuous was only one aspect of happiness. In the absence of say wealth and…
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