The Economics of Happiness

Continuing on David’s theme about happiness… I completely agree that we’ve got “happiness-seeking-run-amok” and that sadness is good too! Does real “happiness” mean the absence of sorrow? I suspect it means “being more alive.” It certainly doesn’t seem to come from ease.

I haven’t read it, but thought the premise of this book sounds right on! The Economics of Happiness. Have you read it? Please comment!

Why, in spite of increasing economic prosperity over the past 50 years, are many conditions of well-being in decline and rates of happiness largely unchanged since the 1950s?

It seems we have so much to be happy about – but not the happiness! I remember as a teen visiting my sis and bro-in-law who were teaching in rural Kenya. We walked around the village where they worked and people had next to nothing, but seemed so happy. At the time I though it a strange paradox then, but moved quickly onto the pressing matters of growing up.

Now I see there’s some essential secret we’ve missed, and I wonder if we can get it back?

2 Replies to “The Economics of Happiness”

  1. I like some of the perspective on happiness on the Happiness Foundation website which also questions the reverse, is it good to be happy?

    http://happiness.org/Resources/Happiness_Studies/What_is_Happiness.aspx

    In particular, they write:

    “Is it good to be happy?

    Most people find feel that is good to be happy but many moral philosophers have reservations. One of their qualms is that it that one can only be happy if one disregards the misery in this world, and hence that happiness depends on a distorted rosy outlook. Another misgiving is that happiness spoils and makes us lazy, uncritical and egocentric. Yet again, empirical research shows otherwise. Happy people appear to be more concerned with social problems and to be more apt to do something about that. There is also evidence that happiness activates and that it encourages social involvement.”

  2. To me ” happiness” is a beautiful concep, yet striving to be hppy all the time can be be misleading or even damaging at times.
    All emotions have their place and value and one of the resons of not feeling content is the rejection of what we might call ” negative emotions” Are they really negative??, or are we receiving important messages from these emotions which might lead to creativity and personal growth.
    To me abetter word to foucs on is “BALANCE” . I also like to pay consious respect to all emotions and listen to the messages they convey.

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