What is happiness and why can’t we agree on what it is if it is so darned important?
Out in Oregon, a nice man named Dave has organized a class on Humanism where people meet every week to discuss how to live life happily as a Humanist. My book, The Humanist Approach to Happiness is being used as a rough guide for the course.
As part of the course, they tried to define happiness for themselves, which is always rather tricky because happiness is so subjective.
Here is what they came up with.
Humanists are concerned with enjoying life, achieving happiness on earth, and in improving the lives of their fellow humans. As a humanist I enjoy the pleasures of life in moderation, but also seek long-term satisfaction and happiness. I can achieve more happiness by being responsible for my actions, leading an ethical life, and showing compassion to others. As I succeed in these, I will become a better person, experience a deeper sense of well-being in my daily life, and help make the world a better place.
In being ethical, I consider the difference between right and wrong in a host of scenarios and apply those considerations to the moral choices I make in my life. By being compassionate I help others as much as opportunity and good sense allow. Being compassionate connects me to every person on earth and makes our world a better place. In being responsible for my actions I thoughtfully consider the choices I make in my life, based on knowledge and experience. Being responsible for my choices gives me more control over my life, resulting in more freedom from worry and fear. With this freedom comes confidence and satisfaction, and a deeper sense of well-being.What do you think of their definition of how a Humanist approaches life and the important business of being happy? Do you agree?