Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Happiness - do you have it? How do you get more? I just heard the barest snippet on public radio the other day but am curious and may check out their books. Arthur Brooks "Gross National Happiness" posits that conservatives are happier than liberals, religion brings happiness - with the most belonging to extremists, charitable giving is one of the few ways to bring yourself more happiness (give either of your $ or of your time). Sonya someone wrote "The How of Happiness" which sounds on its website like a happiness how to book. But what little I heard had her mentioning that our life situation had remarkably little to do with our lasting happiness. Or maybe it was the other speaker Virginia Gurley who is doing a Well-Being index. They all seemed to agree that you have a certain happiness place that you drift back to - and you can make a change - divorce, move town or job - and maybe will increase happiness in short term but will drift back to your regular state of happiness (or lack thereof). There seemed to be an agreement that giving was good for your happiness. Maybe my school volunteerism is a good thing after all! Brooks apparently goes on to propose national policies to make us happier - from the Amazon review it sounds like I won't be happy with what he has to say.

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