The magic of happiness: happiness seems to have magical powers. Though not proven scientifically, but happiness can result to longer life, better health, resiliency and good performance among people. According to Professor Ed Diener, University of Illinois, in The Science of Happiness, there is evidence that happy people live longer, nine years on the average, than depressed and unhappy people.
The problem is that happiness cannot be measured. Health and fitness can be generally measured by the BMI (body mass index) and other medical indicators like blood pressure, cholesterol, uric acid, sugar levels, etc. On the other hand, social scientists wanting to measure the degree of happiness among people can only rely on the simple question, “How happy are you?”
The answers they get, of course, vary between different people but they consider these as valid, though not perfect. Another researcher, Professor Daniels Kahneman determined that …” once a person has a home, food and clothes, extra money does not seem to make him much happier.”
What makes man happy?
This question was posed in a Happiness and Fitness forum and the reactions given are a study for social scientists to look into. Of the thirty or so who responded, the following make them happy (arranged in the order of their importance):
Women they love, respect, and get along with
Love and Respect
Feelings of machismo
Space and time for himself
Laughing at their stupid mistakes
A comfortable home
The forum did not indicate the cross-sectional backgrounds of those who answered the question and their number cannot, by any means, be considered the general perception of what makes man happy. But it does make an interesting revelation. For one, it is difficult to argue about sex being a determinant of what can make man happy. And the other is that, basically, what makes man happy are those that satisfy his feelings, his senses, not the material things around him.
It is worrisome, though, that God is no more important than video games, as a one of those things that makes men happy.
The same study indicates that nothing can make a grouch giggle all of the time.
I recently read a book, The Secret. Well, what is in there is not really a secret but considered so because after all these years, man has missed the very essential truth in happy living. Well, read the book to find out. It is really worth the time.