The Existence of Happiness
Happiness, the intangible emotion that we all desire. Is there proof that this emotion even exists? Eduardo Porter has written an essay titled “What Happiness Is”. In this essay Mr. Porter took the time to study the emotion of happiness that we all experience in life. He makes an attempt to question not only his reasons as to why he is happy, but to have the reader question their own sense of happiness as well. What is it that makes us feel joyful emotions, and how can vastly different experiences cause us to feel the same emotion that we call happiness? While searching for the proof of this feeling Eduardo Porter reflects upon his own personal experiences, professional studies and ultimately decides that his questions may never be answered. Porter states that, “most psychologists and economists who study happiness agree that what they prefer to call “subjective well-being” comprises three parts: satisfaction, meant to capture how people judge their lives measured up against their aspirations; positive feelings like joy; and the absence of negative feelings like anger.” This is an important analysis of how we form the idea of how joyful we actually are. Something in life that one person might be ashamed of could improve the level of cheerfulness for another person. For example, the thought of getting a tattoo might cause one individual to feel guilt while another individual might feel pleasure at the same thought. Because there is no definitive formula that provides a calculated experience of happiness for everyone, it is interesting to question what actions or lack thereof in our lives cause us to be cheerful or to lose some of the happiness that we have already gained. The organization of this essay was well thought out and effective. The author opens with the statement, “Happiness is a slippery concept, a bundle of meaning with no precise, stable definition.” This opening statement provokes the reader to question their own beliefs...
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