H is for Happiness

| March 27, 2014

Both Brain Palmer and Margaret Oldham’s examples in “The Pursuit of Happiness” are good reflections of how people strive for self success by ignoring themselves as members of their families and community. Palmer, as a successful businessman, believes that devotion to money and career through his own self-reliance is the most important task in his life. Furthermore, he also believes that providing for his family materially is more important than sharing his time with family members and within his community. Similar to Palmer, Margaret Oldham, a therapist, places individual fulfillment higher than attachment to family and community. Her success is based on her value of hard work, wide tolerance of differences among people, and a mature willingness to accept responsibility for her own life. Indeed, she is responsible for herself, but she has no reliable way to connect her own fulfillment to that of other people, whether they are her own husband and children or the larger social and political community of which she is inevitably a part of. Oldham and Palmer are typical of people who believe that happiness originates self success.

In my opinion, the pursuit of happiness is a lifelong subject for every one of us. The pursuit of happiness will be varied based on different age periods and life experiences, so everyone has different interpretations of what is happiness. It is unreasonable to evaluate someone’s life as happier than others because pursuit of happiness is internal, not through comparison with others.