What Is Your “Pursuit of Happiness”?
Thomas Jefferson may have been borrowing from the 17th century English philosopher John Locke when he coined the phrase, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” After all, nearly 100 years before Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, Locke wrote that the foundation of liberty is built on the need to pursue happiness. Locke noted that this pursuit is not merely an imaginary quest or a satisfaction of personal desires, but an ability to achieve the greatest good free from any predetermined will or forced action.
This pursuit is one of the unalienable and natural rights that Jefferson found so irresistible, but it dates back well before his or Locke’s time. It is indeed traceable to the 5th century B.C., and the Greek philosophers. They referred to “eudaimonia,” the Greek term for “happiness,” connoted as performing the right actions that result in the well-being of an individual. Happiness is a state of being based in morality, virtue, and utility, not an acquisition. In other words, humanity achieves its peak actualization by living a good life full of positive actions, not by acquiring things to demonstrate one lived “successfully.”
As America matures, misguided policy and hostile culture risk foreclosing this pursuit to future generations. To preserve this right, happy warriors must fight to enable the enrichment of opportunity and must become champions of the modern-day eudaimonia, the ability to “earn one’s success.” To this end, happiness is a fight for people, not against things.
Learn More About the “Pursuit of Happiness”
Getting men back to work is not only critical for their own psyche, but also for their communities and the U.S. economy. In a long road map for reforms recently laid out by a group of policy experts, the authors cite a little public shaming, as well as a lively discussion of the dignity of hard work (as expertly expressed by Mike Rowe) as potential motivators to get men off the sidelines and back into the workforce.read more
Several companies in the UK and India now provide “pawternity leave.” That’s paid time off for employees when a new pet becomes part of the family. The new approach to family care begs the question: If puppy parents are reaping the benefits of paid parental leave, can’t the United States provide comparable benefits to ensure human babies receive the same support?read more
In fact, if we stopped to look at how millennial women — and men — now increasingly prefer traditional, female stay-at-home roles and male bread-winning roles, we might consider the principles of a certain kind of feminism that explains this recent shift.
It’s called “choice feminism,” and it is a term that has been adopted to describe the belief that women are free to choose the lifestyle they want, whether at home or in the workplace, without judgment.read more
Leave it to Bruce Springsteen to celebrate the value and dignity of work in one of his most patriotic songs, “American Land.” It’s not surprising that he is appreciated as one of America’s greatest musicians by people from all walks of life, from poor to rich and old to young.
But what happens to the foundation of his song lyrics, and the American Dream, when the “hard-working man” begins to disappear from the picture?read more
In a sarcastic and slightly cranky opinion piece, education reformer Rick Hess details a bad stroke of luck with American Airlines that ultimately prevents him from delivering an important lecture despite trying every maneuver possible to rebook flights, book car rentals, and hightail it through an airport.
The analogy is an excellent window into the experience of many parents when it comes to their children being stranded in a school system that drops the ball time and time again. Only with education, the stakes are much, much higher.read more
What makes you happy? Family, friends, a strong community? How about “economic growth”? It’s not typically a buzzword to trigger your feelings, but a recent report suggests a nation’s economic growth is a variable in one’s personal happiness.read more
President Trump, with a push from his daughter Ivanka, has been promoting paid family leave as a means to help families with income and work after the birth of a child or to care for a loved one who falls ill.read more
I analyzed the 2014 data from the General Social Survey collected by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago to see how attention to politics is associated with life satisfaction. The results were significant. Even after controlling for income, education, age, gender, race, marital status and political views, being “very interested in politics” drove up the likelihood of reporting being “not too happy” about life by about eight percentage points.read more
In English literary custom, the rules of the English road leave many scratching their heads. That’s probably why there’s a National Grammar Day.
English is considered a very difficult language for some who learn it as a second language (or even a first), and it’s no surprise. Here are just some of the confusing English lessons.read more
There are solutions to the mistreatment of homeless addicted people by eviction companies aside from taking these companies to court. They include relaxing regulations on how many workers must be used to clear out a house, which leads eviction companies to look for cheap, unqualified work crews.read more
What’s a better solution – higher wages at the cost of jobs, or more jobs with lower wages? If you’re interested in seeing people working, the latter is the better option. That’s why several economists question the logic of the “Fight for $15” movement.read more
“America’s system of democratic capitalism represents a fusion of our political, economic, and moral-cultural systems. No facet can exist apart from the others.” This was the central thesis in the book “The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism,”...read more
Care for the vulnerable is not unique to one religion. All major philosophies share this goal, religious or otherwise. But how does religious belief intersect with capitalism? Many goodhearted people mistrust markets. They believe that free enterprise worsens...read more
Income differences are often the result of career choices and training. For instance, few would expect an engineer and a baker to make the same amount of money. But what if you’re an MIT-trained biomedical engineer who decides to open a bakery? Well, clearly, the true quality of life decisions aren’t based on finances, but on fufillment.read more