What Makes a Person Happy?

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Everybody wants to be happy. Parents want their children to have a happy childhood and a happy life, people wish newlyweds a happy married life, and when someone passes on, they say, “S/he had a happy life,” as if that is comforting to those who are already missing the person and who are very unhappy. Why is happiness so important to people? Perhaps it is because humans are competitive by nature and one person exaggerates his/her happiness so that others are envious. Maybe it is because humans like to be distracted by a story and if they can believe someone actually achieves perfect happiness, then they can hold out hope for themselves. What is happiness exactly? No one knows because everyone defines it differently. In general though, happiness is an overall feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. If that is the case, then happiness seems easy enough to achieve, but whether humans are actually capable of realizing they are in the state of happiness though is another issue.
Just about every important event in life is presented as a milestone on the road to happiness. Childhood is supposed to be a happy time where the child is protected and kept from fear and danger. Getting one’s driver’s license is seen as a step toward that child’s independence, his freedom, his happiness. Graduating from high school and going to college or entering the work force is another step toward independence, freedom, and happiness. Getting married is usually done because the person one chooses as a spouse makes them happy. Having children makes a person happy usually, hopefully. The career one chooses makes one happy hopefully, or at least it makes one flush with cash if not happy, perhaps rich is the next best thing. Looking forward to retiring after wor...

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...the violence and wars that certainly do not bring about happiness. It would also make it so that no one was hungry, in need of medical care or without a roof over their heads because happy humans would not allow other humans to suffer such unhappiness. Perhaps humans have the need to feel happiness correctly identified. It is just the way they go about achieving it that is not right.

Works Cited

Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. Harper's Weekly, 1860-1861. Print.
Haybron, Dan. "Happiness." 6 July 2011. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Web. 15 April 2014..
Howell, Ryan T. "Can't Buy Happiness?" 2014. Psychology Today. Web. 15 April 2014.
PBS. "This Emotional Life: What is Happiness?" 2009. PBS. Web. 15 April 2014.
Robinson, Edwin Arlington. “Richard Cory.” Reading Literature and Writing Argument. Upper
Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2008. 192-193. Print.

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