Saturday, January 5, 2019
Every human being wants to be happy. From the philosophical classics of Plato and Aristotle to the great texts of the world religions, to poetry and song-writing down to the present day, we find this permanent truth inscribed in the great works of men and women, because it's inscribed in our hearts. America's Founding Father understood this. A right to "the pursuit of happiness" was given by God, they wrote in the Declaration of Independence, and it can not be stripped away by any king or potentate who happens to wield the sword of state for a time.
Happiness has never been easy to come by, let alone hold onto. Even to say precisely what happiness is presents a challenge. Nonetheless, when life brings us joy and contentment, we know it. The question is whether we can play an active part in making it happen.
Social scientists have identified four primary drivers of human happiness, which we can put in the form of four questions:
1. Do you have family you love, and who love you?
2. Do you have friends you trust and confide in?
3. Do you have work that matters—callings that
benefit your neighbors?
4. Do you have a worldview that can make sense
of suffering and death?
Think of these four components as the legs of a chair. When all four are in place, things are sturdy. When one goes missing, your happiness begins to wobble.
-Ben Sasse, Them: Why We Hate Each Other—And How To Heal