Hu 300 Happiness

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Happiness: What defines it and what drives us to it.
Andrew Matas
June 10, 2013

Art and Humanities: 20th Century and Beyond HU300-14
Instructor: Professor Sarah Kate Stephenson

Throughout our lives we encounter a variety of emotions and mental states. One we often seek for varying reasons is happiness. Happiness can be defined as a state of joy and fulfillment that gives us a warm, welcome sense of security and content. Though this basic definition does not state how people can attain this emotion or state of being. As we grow our focus changes and what gives us that emotional response changes. So we must ask ourselves how our definition of happiness changes over time. We shall now look and see how our definition changes over time, what schools of happiness we agree with, and what drives us to seek happiness through our actions.

For this investigation I was able to discuss with two people of different lifestyles and ages. This small panel should show how we can see a change in priorities through one’s life as well as how having different social statuses can affect views on what brings them happiness and what ideal sets agree with them. Our first subject was a fellow colleague of mine Manny Montemayor a man in his early thirties middle class gentleman that works for what he has and single parent. The second subject to the interview was a man I met on chance while downtown in Norfolk, VA a man by the name of Chauncy Tiberius Mangum III. This older gentleman in his late fifties is of upper-class lifestyle and upbringing and is very much the classical “Southern gentleman” a retired man that has lived with financial security and freedom throughout his life.

To start these brief talks off I asked simply “What does happiness mean to you? “ Manny replied with “Happiness is more than an experience, it is something happened it could be good news, or I won something or someone got me something, a state of mind. It’s not about material things it’s a state of...
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