Read the articles linked above and then respond to my first comment in the comment tab.
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"The American Pursuit of Happiness" was about how in today's crowded world, our path to joy can be quite hard to find. We are all born with the natural drive to find our own happy moments, favorable career conditions, and create the perfect family, but just because you have the instinct to obtain these things, does not necessarily mean you will end up with them. I can easily apply this to my own life because I am afraid of not being able to find a job once I've finished college. I have jobs I would love to do, but aren't exactly easy to get into. There are already so many people lining up to apply for my dream jobs, that it feels like there isn't any room for me. That's the thing that people don't seem to mention much when they talk about "The Pursuit of Happiness", that it comes with a great deal of stress and absolutely no guarantees. The second article was mainly about what "The Pursuit of Happiness" meant in the time of Benjamin Franklin in contrast to today's meaning. It used to be defined as the sense of pride you felt when you contributed to your community and helped out others in need, whereas nowadays the meaning is more 'What can I do to pursue my own hopes and dreams?' I suppose if your goals are to help others and pursue that path, then the original meaning is still in play, but in all honesty, most of the original definition is gone today.
In today's society, I feel personally that some people in this world feel pride when helping in their community. One of the main problems today is that it's harder to find people to contribute to their community. I personally feel pride when helping people in need or helping out in the community and I feel like many others would to if they had the chance.
In response to Wyatts last sentence, I think that people would really enjoy helping the community. But, what I think is that those who do help out and understand that feeling have a responsibility to tell others and spread the pride by including all. This would bring more opportunities to help and more opportunities for those who want to help.
I think that the original definition of the pursuit of happiness does still apply today. We have many organizations that help people just out of generosity, like Peer leaders and Atkin Women of Today. But the meaning now is more about an individual's needs and wants.
Many people still do take pride in helping out their community, but because of the importance we have placed in other aspects of our life, it usually takes a backseat. People do take time out of there schedule to help others and help in the community, but it is less often and usually the people who do are the same groups that do it every time. So, not only do I think it's important to have pride in your community, but also share that pride with someone else. So this pride in helping you feel becomes a societal standard.
I think the pursuit of happiness has been vital in shaping the history of our country. The greatest country on earth. America. The United States of America. If it weren't for this pursuit of happiness we would never have achieved our No. 1 ranking in Worlds Wars. We would not have produced greats such as B Frank, T Jeff, and J Kupe. Our own version of the idea of happiness has truly paved the trail and laid the asphalt for the road to greatness. And then in a rush of American Spirit we added another extension past the road to greatness and then added a toll both to said road. I see this American Spirit and pursuit of happiness everywhere I look in this wonderful country. America. We have freedoms unavailable to many countries around the work
Following our dreams is harder to do in today's society
I completely and utterly disagree. With the options and paths open to us as Americans in this modern world, following our dreams has never been easier or more encouraged.
Eli, recent studies show that the economy isnt as good as it could be, therefore it is harder for a kid to come out of highschool, go to college and follow their dreams, and find the job they want. Depression can also kick in with all the student loans people have from the expense of college.
I agree. it is a lot harder in this society to achieve your goals. contributing factors could be things like money(or lack of it), lack of resources, or going into an unsucessful career, even if its what you want to do
It is harder because of the difference of situations. Not everyone has the resources to do the things they want. Maybe you want to be a brain surgeon, but your family doesn't have the money to go to college, and the scholarships don't help enough either. Then you may not be able to be a brain surgeon.
I think that Jake is right and it is harder to get a job in this economy than it used to be. You sometimes have to settle for something that you don't enjoy just to get by.
I liked the part where it talked about many how Americans are spending a lot of money on yoga or life coaching for happiness, when they don't' even know what happiness is. Time magazine says happiness is different for every individual. If Americans were happy on the prairie without the technology we have today, people today can take a walk through the woods and still be happy without playing Madden Mobile and hitting a tree.
Remember kids, just because you've worked hard your entire life to get into a fruitful career that you'd love to be in, you could still fail, no matter how hard you try.
Eloquent. Well-stated. To the point. In a nutshell, potent. Hardwork may be a good start, but it guarantees nothing. Life can be cruel and often is.
Many people say Life can be cruel or bad things happen for no reason and we just have to live with it. But maybe we should look at every bad situation, wrong turn,and hardship as something we get to have because many people thrive off the feeling of accomplishment. As human beings we love the feeling of overcoming things and many times that is what makes a moment so profoundly awesome.
I agree Cody life knocks you around and it is how you respond to these beatings that shapes your idea of true happiness which might change your pursuit angle.
I agree with Cody no matter how hard you try there are some circumstances that are out of your control.
I really like what Eli said. The pursuit of Happiness has been vital in shaping our country. We are number 1 in world wars... But Hapiness were ranked 23rd.i think a reason for being 23rd is because keeping 300 million people happy is a hard thing to do. When you have Denmark as number 1 their population is only 5.6 million. All they are doing in reality is keeping the state of Minnesota happy. Hapiness isn't defined by how happy your people are.. It's about how strong of an economy you have and we will always be the happiest country when it comes to money.
I really like what jack mentioned. I think our country needs to be more humble like Sweden and we would happier all around because there would be less problems
Humility is in contrast to what the first article talks about with people finding happiness in objects and with social media posting "Oh look what I'm doing." Humility would be taking pride in what you have and what you are doing without flaunting it for everyone else.
Being more humble just means that we can't just assume we're the best at everything and be less arrogant.
Money is everything. People think that happiness is all they need, but if you were rich, you'd be pretty happy.
I wholeheartedly disagree with this statement. Sure, if you have money you would be able to afford things that you think bring you happiness, but it is extremely short term. Once you own an object you go through the Three Stages of Obtaining;
1. Excitement About New Item
2. Commonplace item/Being Accustomed To New Item
3. Bored of New Item
I feel that the less you have, the more you appreciate what you own.
I've never heard of the "Three Stages of Obtaining" I googled it and didn't find anything about it. Wondering where you got this from. Source please.
I made it up. I make a lot of things up. Like 'Blagelle', it's a mix of 'bagel' and 'blah'
Just because you are rich does not mean you are happy. Humans have a desire to feel full and complete, and having money can not fill the void of things that are not objects such as people or self satisfaction.
Not a fan of this statement, not to use an anecdote here but ik many people that are very happy and not rich and they just love life to the fullest and I think people that are not rich have less stressful lives because they possibly don't have a stressful job to get them that kind of money, and people without stress tend to be happier.
I can totally see where this statement is coming from and understand it from both points of view both agreeing and disagreeing. I would agree with it because if u had a lot of money that would open u up to more opportunity to have better things and do more stuff. I also agree with money can't buy u happyness but I personally think it sure does help!
Money isn't everything. Money can just be a facade, people who worked the hardest, therefore gaining the most money, can be the most unhappy of all. Some people work 24/7 just so they don't have to concentrate on the other parts of their lives which are lacking.
I feel like the pursuit of happiness is dependent on your mental focus and your attitude toward your circumstances rather than your culture,environment, or society
you should be happy for what we have in this country. A great economy, great education, and great leaders. Trump 16
Jack, I like how you said we should be happy for what we got, but I disagree with the economy and leaders. For instance, if you believe in trump, you have it all wrong. He wants to get rid of all the immigrants which is mortally wrong. And our economy has room for improvement.
I just gave Trump as an example. You could name any of the candidates and say they could win the Presidency. Our economy does have room for improvement. Our leaders in this country are great because we as people to get to vote on who we want. If we vote in someone bad that I sour own fault.
To achieve this goal of happiness, you need ambition. It is believed that everyone has the ability to achieve happiness, but the path to get there changes from person to person. With the history we have had, and the resources available to us, it is a very attainable goal to achieve this pursuit of happiness.
There are some resources available to everyone but there are also many that are limited to who you are, what you have, and how much money you have. If you have more money you are more likely to do and accomplish more things.
I agree with what Taylor said. There are resources available to everyone, but your income will impact what kind of things you have. If you have low income you won't have as many resources as someone with a higher income. This doesn't mean everybody can't get the same thing it is just harder for some people to achieve that goal, happiness, or resource.
I don't think there are any resources available to everyon, at least not in a way that everyone could receive the same amount of help for them.. An example would be public schooling, everyone can go to it, but if your family lives in a very poor part of the country, the school you go to will most likely be much worse. The amount of money you or your family makes has a great impact on your life and the resources provided to you.
Ok, so the "happiness" of Americans is kinda slowing down due to the fact that we're running out of things to accomplish. Similar to a week after Christmas and kids are already tired of all their new toys. If we've already "beat the game" now we're looking for other things to cure our boredom. Money is the first thought that comes to mind...
Americans have already been to the moon, invented the IPhone, and become a world super power. There isn't very much for us left to do so we need something to fill the void of knowing that there is not very much that we can do that has not been done before. "Been there, done that, got the TShirt." Americans are then looking to objects to fill the void of "hey look what I did!"
I think by 'beat the game', Nikki means that there isn't much we can do that hasn't already been done by somebody else. As humans, we like to be the first to do or think of something. Have you ever thought of something you thought was a completely new and creative idea, only to find it on the social media or hear it from another friend later? It has happened to me on multiple occasions and really takes away the feeling of individuality.
Exactly. Humans need to come in first. If they dont, it cuts the accomplishment they feel in half, and it almost becomes not worth it. (haha I like the t-shirt comment, taylor!)
I don't necessarily think it's that we're running out of things to accomplish. There are plenty of things to discover and create like artificial intelligence, space discoveries, genetic engineering, etc. There are always ways we could improve upon what we already have invented and discovered. Just because we've seen many innovations in the past doesn't mean there are none for the future.
I agree with what Nikki is saying. And Taylor is totally right about the T-shirt idea. We as humans I think have a natural competitiveness to us. Some people maybe show it more than others, but we always need to be on top. And as Americans, we have advanced quite a bit. It's like a big funnel. There were so many things for people to do, now the space keeps getting smaller and smaller and we are trying to put more people into these "Top of the list" things. There's just not enough space for all of us, so why not just do it the quickest and "easiest" way. Money.
Over the years, Americnas and people alike have lost the real meaning of happiness. Happiness isn't just doing something you like and only you like. Just think what the world would be like if everyone viewed happiness like they did back then, "happiness was about an individual’s contribution to society rather than pursuits of self-gratification."Just think about what our works would be like, there could be more help to the homeless, less hungry children, and overall more people living a better life.
I feel that the pursuit of happiness is deeply rooted in many aspects of American society. We as a nation feel the need to strive for excellence and show of our prowess to the rest of the world. But the pursuit of happiness goes beyond that. As individual Americans it is ingrained in our upbring. We want to have everything that we desire and if we don't we feel disappointed.
I find that the term of the pursuit of happiness sounds great but happiness is a temporary state and is changed by circumstances and situations that shifts like the sands. Should we follow the pursuit of happiness or should we look for joy which is being content regardless of any circumstances or situations.
I don't think that being disappointed when we don't get everything we want is necessarily a bad thing. When we shoot for a goal and fall short, disappointment is sure to follow. Usually that disappointment makes people work harder for a new goal, which is something that needs to happen to achieve what we want in life.
It's always a good thing to have goals and to work up to achieving them, but when that one thing consumes your life, it can become unhealthy. Life isn't perfect and you don't always get what you want. Sometimes you just have to accept the things you can not change.
I think that if people want everything, it could be a good thing because they are setting high goals for themselves if you want to look at it like that. It could be bad because it shows that they are being greedy which isn't always a good thing. Obviously we can't have everything so it's okay to dream, but it will never happen.
I think that wanting everything you desire and gong for it is great, it shows ambition. And generally when people don't achieve their goals they are upset about it. The point where it becomes unhealthy is when you can't cope. But to achieve happiness isn't just you being content with yourself, that is today's version. We have in some ways forgotten what the "pursuit of happiness" is all about.
I don't think Lucas was necessarily talking about setting a goal and achieving it versus not, because obviously you will be disappointed by that. I think he was getting at that fact that Americans want to have the newest technologies, nice clothing, nice cars, etc. And materialism is not a good thing. What sort of phone or car you have should not have such a big connection with the amount of disappointment you feel in life. People should align happiness and success with reaching their goals and the relationships they have with other people.
The points of the articles were that the meaning of happiness has changed from 18th century America and that it is not having money that makes people happy, it is the journey involved in obtaining the money and the unique experiences bought from it. It is important for you to make money doing what you enjoy and to invest your money towards things you would like to accomplish.
I agree with Chris how he said it's not about the money, but the way you obtain it. A famous saying says that if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. My neighbor, for example, had two job options one that didn't pay as much, but he loved every minute of it. The other he would have been paid more, but he didn't like it as much. He chose the lower paying one and he never regretted his desicion. That is just one example in my life, and I know that that has changed my thinking on my future career.
FREEDOM! Mine is better
I think that it's sad when a study in many different countries says that just a 10 percent increase or bump in income isn't just happy but it makes one extremely happy. Unfortunately I understand why this is true, but what have we come to that almost every said that in order to become more happy is to have more money.
In our world today people focus so much on buying things and trying to find happiness in people or items or anything they can think of but true happiness is nothing you can buy, it is found within yourself.
The pursuit of happiness pushes invention. I definitely think this is true; when we look at people who are successful inventors, a common motivation is the want to leave something behind that will outlive them. Another common motivation is that if we look at people like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs we see that it was their invention that turned them in to very affluent Americans. The article mentions the common gene in Americans that links to a desire for novelty. We are out of places on Earth that we can go discover and running out of things no one has done yet. I think this is part of the reason that people are actually volunteering to go and live on Mars. No one has done it before so it is a new experience. The drive to do something new and the belief that happiness comes from that is a reason why America has been home to so many inventors and pioneers in various things.
I very much agree with people wanting to leave a legacy that will outlast them, they want to be remembered long after their death for something, be it scientific findings, new technologies, or a movement. I think that people are volunteering to go live on Mars, not only for the new experience and new places to discover, but so they can be remembered in history for being the first to do something.
As Americans our outlook on the pursuit of happiness has changed. We still have our will, ambition, and innovation, but it's much more than that now. We want more out of life than just success, we need not to only look towards our destination, but also enjoy our journey.
I think that people who are in search of happiness are sometimes trying to force their happiness by maybe forcing a relationship or putting so much pressure on themselves to succeed.
Just like a puzzle, if a piece doesn't fit, you can't make it. Even if what you want appears to be perfect to you in your eyes, it may just not be meant to be. The same can be said about pressuring yourself to always succeed. No matter how good you are at anything, you will mess up at some point. The key is to keep practicing and work up to your goal. We're only human and none of us are perfect.
People do put pressure on themselves to succeed and sometimes that takes away the happiness. Such as in school sometimes for a test you study so hard that you don't want a bad grade that you put some pressure on yourself to get a good grade that you actually do worse. Just keep on striving and eventually you will succeed in whatever you are trying to get to. Whether that is happiness,relationships, or even just in school. Just keep trying and you will get to where you want to be.
I agree with what Jack said. Sometimes a lot of pressure comes from your parents. They want you to succeed and do your best so you strive to do the best in everything you do. At times you feel like you fall short of what their expectation for you is and because of that you put more pressure on yourself to do better the next time. But if you are giving 100% all the time what more can your parents or anyone ask of you?
The pressure that life has to be perfect or exactly some way maybe. Not always do you have to do what people around you to consider "normal", even around your friends. You don't have to be athletic, you don't have to have a girlfriend or boyfriend, and you don't have to be in the accelerated math class to be smart.
The definition of "The Pursuit of Happiness" is something that has definitely changed since the times of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Back then it seemed as if it was almost something that was guaranteed and they all knew what it was that they were searching for in this "Pursuit of Happiness." Now it seems more difficult to figure out what it is you want to pursue and when you do figure it out there are almost always things that get in the way. One thing that makes it really difficult is now almost everything you do requires money and not everyone can afford to just throw that money out the window in trying to pursue that happiness.
The definition of happiness, according to Dictionary.com, is the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind. However, according to the second article, the definition was completely different back in Benjamin Franklin's time. It was even considered an inalienable right and everyone had it guaranteed. What has changed over time? Doesn't everyone still deserve and have a right to happiness? Is there a higher chance of unhappiness? In the first article, it talks about how a lot of people still expect to have happiness and no less. I mean, it was written in our Constitution. But, happiness is not just something that you simply can get. You have to choose happiness and sometimes even chase it. For example, if you have a dream that's it's so important to you, that you can't be happy until you live it.
When you are asking about what has changed over time and pose the question "Is there a higher chance of unhappiness?" (Pertaining to chasing your dreams in "The Pursuit of happiness"), I would have to say yes and no. No, because it is really up to you as an individual if you give up and become unhappy or not, but there are things today that are making people tend to give up easier which is why I also have to say yes. Yes, because now with all of the advancements in technology a lot of things are instant, causing people to become less patient, and most people's goals in this "Pursuit of Happiness" definitely take some time.
Reading the first article reminded me of my response from last week. At the end of my paper I wrote about how America has done many, many great things but we have started to plateau. Like Nikki said, "We are beginning to run out of things to accomplish." And yes... like a lot of the guys in our class are commenting, Freedom! But we are not the only country who has freedom. I believe that we were the greatest country in the world, but are we now? There is a really good YouTube video that shed some light into my eyes and really gave me a different perspective. It's called "Why America isn't the Greatest Country in the World Anymore."
When I referred to "we" I meant Americans as individuals but also as a whole nation and how we work as a unit to help improve our country.
I believe that it's very easy for some people to be lost by the excessive pride created by past innovations that we're left here, flaunting our old discoveries, and not noticing that others are in the race and are passing us by with their own innovations.
I really like Chris's post. Just the other day my family and I watched "When the Game Stands Tall." It's about how this team has a huge winning streak, and one day they lose that streak. They lost because they were so caught up in being number one and having the mindset that they couldn't lose that they didn't keep improving. This applies to Chris's comment. Americans have been so caught up in being the greatest country in the world but haven't been proving that we still are the greatest country.
The Pursuit of Happiness is now based on how much money we can get. And what we can do with this money. There really is no "happiness" because we don't even know what it is. There's always someone or something above us. And we're always trying to get above them. We use our money to show off how much better we are than others. But money can give happiness, it's just how it's spent.
I like what you said about trying to be "higher" then everyone else. It pretty describes our society. Our idea of happiness is now connected with money... to the point where kids will see a commercial of a toy they want, and associate the happiness they would feel (if they had the toy) with the money it costs.
I think by saying "we" Lizzy meant the American people in general, but I think we could direct it towards the younger American generation. Money is sometimes used as a ranking system, for who has the most money or most expensive items. And because of the media and TV shows like Keeping up with the Kardashians, the younger generation is going to see money as a sign of worth. I agree that money can bring us happiness depending on how it is spent, but it should not be the basis of our happiness. Nor should money be the basis to what we compare to others or view our self worth.
I agree that money is not happiness but it can bring happiness. Depending on what you Beleive hapiness is, money may make you happy and for others it means nothing. I also think that happiness can come from something that you enjoy to do and not just money.
Americans think they need more money, newer electronics, more clothes, and many other things to be happy. When people start wanting things they can’t afford, their feelings of happiness are going to decrease. It’s like when you were little and asked your parents to buy you a candy bar or a stuffed animal and they said no, most little kids get sad and some throw a fit. Or when you wanted a new toy that “all of your other friends have” and they said no. You wanted that toy to fit in with your friends and because they all looked happy when they were playing with it, but in a few weeks someone else will have another new toy. It’s a continuous cycle like electronics these days every time you get, lets say a new iphone, they come out with a newer and better version that you want. People should work on being more optimistic and enjoying the moment rather than looking at everything they don’t have and not compare their lives to the celebrities or people who are richer than they are.
If someone were to work on being more optimistic they would have to stop looking at the negatives so much and try to find the positive side of the situation. It's usually easier to see the negative, but even if it doesn't seem like it, there is almost always a bright side to every situation.
I agree with Wyatt in saying we lost the true meaning of the pursuit of happiness. I think that reflects a lot on how different our nation has become over the years. Our generation is often referred to as a me first culture and is some ways that is true. Often time when someone is asked to due something a first thought is, "What do I get out of it?" Instead of agreeing to do something just to help someone out. I think that America needs to get back in touch with the "pursuit of happiness".