Suppose I started this off automatically with a clear definition over what happiness really is. It would result in a highly unlikely answer simply because everyone’s perspective on happiness would be different and could not be accounted to be true for everyone. According to Jane Kenyon’s poem, Simon Critchley’s critique, Douglas Preston’s encounter with the famous religious and political figure Dalai Lama, and Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi’s theory, each hold a different view on what happiness really means and why it is such a concern to people.
Jane Kenyon in her poem Happiness published in Poetry magazine (February 1995), writes, “There’s just no accounting for happiness, or the way it turns up like a prodigal who comes back to the dust at your feet having squandered a fortune far away”. Here she is referring to the biblical parable of the “Prodigal (or lost) son”. The story follows that a man has two sons and one of the sons leaves and takes his father’s inheritance later to return ashamed and defeated for his actions but is surprisingly greeted by his father who celebrates his return back home rather than being angry with his son. Kenyon also adds in her poem “Happiness is the uncle you never knew about, who flies a single-engine plane onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes into town, and inquires at every door until he finds you asleep midafternoon as you so often are during the unmerciful hours of your despair”. This part of the poem ties back to what the “Prodigal son” is about; Kenyon is explaining how Happiness is almost abrupt and unexpected in the arrival of happiness. The unexpected uncle and prodigal son were both used in her poem to emphasize the fact that happiness means forgiving others no matter the circumstance and ...
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...is. I’ve come to learn that the happiest people can survive alone because they know who they are and who they aspire to be and that is where happiness comes in whether it be being “in the flow” or “in the moment” or not even realizing how abrupt happiness can be on one..
Even though Jane Kenyon’s poem, Simon Critchley’s critique, Douglas Preston’s encounter with the famous religious and political figure Dalai Lama, and Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi’s point of view on his theory each hold a different view on what happiness really means; and each give a clear idea on what it could mean to feel happy and not even notice as well as giving one a broader reason as to why happiness is important and that is because it is one of the greatest aspects of our lives and all perceive it a bit differently leaving one questioning themselves over this simple question. What makes one happy?
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