Happiness from another angle

Lately, I have been reading books by any number of authors on happiness. [Disclosure: I am writing s book on the psychology of happiness, so this reading is not exactly random.].

These authors come from a variety of religious and psychological traditions. Some are Jewish, some are Christian of various denominations. There are Buddhist among the writers as well as Sufi Muslims. Psychological traditions are also included in their variety; from Freudian to Jungian and up to modern cognitive therapists as well as neurological researchers.

There are many opinions about happiness. A number of them believe that happiness is not a matter for psychology, for it is a subject that cannot be objectively addressed. The term, “fulfillment” is sometimes used as a synonym for “happiness”. And, fulfillment can contribute to happiness to be sure, however, it does not constitute the entirety of what it means to be happy.

I mention this only in that the pathway to fulfillment as an element of happiness if not the totality of it is reachable and reachable in a practical sense through our attitude to what we do.

This cam to mind as I read a brief quotation by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He wrote, in “What is your life’s blueprint?”:

“If a person sweeps streets for a living, they should sweep like Raphael painted pictures, like Michelangelo carved marble, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music.”

In our pluralistic, multi-cultural; society, which is facing what appears to me to be a contagion of unhappiness, can we take this advice from a religious and civil leader of the recent past? Is it not in the interests of the public wheal to have fulfilled citizens? Can we agree that pursuing happiness is part of the healthy activity of the public sector as well as a benefit to our spiritual inner person?

What do you think?


About tpurchasesnj

I am a Presbyterian minister. I am also a former military chaplain. It has always been important to me to examine the impact that religion has on the public sector. That is the purpose of this blog; to explore the ways that religion intersects the market place.
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One Response to Happiness from another angle

  1. Bill Kelly says:

    One suggestion I read years ago is that happiness is a function of the difference between what you have and what you expected to have. By this reasoning, if your expectations always outpace your reality you will always be unhappy.

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