Happiness is a moral obligation, says Dennis Prager

Smiley-FaceI couldn’t agree more with the principle that happiness is a moral obligation (an argument Dennis Prager makes at length in the excellent Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual). I often tell the children, when the describe mean kids at their school that those children are more to be pitied than censured. Happy people, I point out, aren’t mean. Someone mean must be very unhappy. Give them a wide berth, but don’t add to their misery.

As for me, I’m trying to be happy, despite having misread a contract I signed, and having inadvertently signed on to a more expensive project than I intended. I’m reminding myself that, on the information available, this service provider is still the best in the market (a market sadly marked by a lot of shoddy work), but I’m feeling dumb. It was, after all, a stupid mistake. We’ll still get what we want, but not on the terms I thought. Sigh.

Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.

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Comments

  1. says

    It’s going to take a lot more than talk for people to develop the self discipline they’ve been slacking on for the last… what 1-3 decades?
     
    People think they can go back to playing football or the piano when they didn’t do anything of that as kids? If not, why do they think it’s going to be an easy thing fixing their mind, spirits, and habits. It’s not going to be easy.
     
    Those people who have substituted society, morality, and authority as their “limit brakes” for how they behave, will find it strange and unusual to be the one self moderating their moods and feelings. If you have never stepped on the gas or on the brake for your strongest emotions, it’s not something people can pick up after an entire childhood and adulthood of sitting back and letting somebody else do it.
     
    Older people have less hormones to deal with emotion wise, but they are also more brittle, harder to change, and more stubborn due to life experiences. People can’t even change their political identities as the pain hits, they certainly won’t be able to master something as all powerful and omnipotent and emotional regulation. From my experience with people, they have almost no emotional control absent external controls. They cannot control themselves, by themselves. They need help.

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