Sunday, February 25, 2007

Happiness is a Moral Obligation

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I love listening to Dennis Prager on the radio and reading his columns. Here is one of his columns I think everyone should read.

For much of my life, I, like most people, regarded the pursuit of happiness as largely a selfish pursuit. One of the great revelations of middle age has been that happiness, far from being only a selfish pursuit, is a moral demand.

When we think of character traits we rightly think of honesty, integrity, moral courage, and acts of altruism. Few people include happiness in any list of character traits or moral achievements.

But happiness is both.

Happiness--or at least acting happy, or at the very least not inflicting one's unhappiness on others--is no less important in making the world better than any other human trait.

With some exceptions, happy people make the world better and unhappy people make it worse. This is true on the personal (micro) and global (macro) planes.

Read the whole thing here.


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed this entry
very well written

Anonymous said...

I SO MUCH agree with this. Being around unhappy people can be contagious-----if you don't feel happy then act happy, the feeling will come later.
Speaking of children, they are so quick to pick up the moods of others.

Mrs. Falstaff said...

Dopel - "if you don't feel happy then act happy, the feeling will come later". As someone who suffers from chronic depression (thankfully, controlled with medication), that is abject nonsense. I was no more capable of changing my feelings without medication than a diabetic is capable of changing her blood sugar without diet, exercise and medication. Besides, if I don't share my troubles with my brothers and sisters in Christ, how will they ever get to know the real me? Intimacy involves sharing, sharing involves truth, not pasting a happy face on even though my heart is heavy.