What Happiness Is Response

Satisfactory Essays
Topics: Happiness
Eduardo Porter in the essay What Happiness Is argues several viewpoints on the true meaning of happiness and how people strive to obtain it. After several descriptions of finding happiness, Porter claims “we pursue what we think makes us happy” (Porter1) and that most people “expend enormous amounts of time and energy pursuing more money” (Porter3), claiming people get happiness out of material possessions. Cynical as Porter may seem by this statement he wrote earlier in his essay, “it remains generally true that we pursue what we think makes us happy”(Porter2), so saying money and possessions while not the only road for happiness, is the most common. Porter’s thesis that “Happiness is a slippery concept, a bundle of meanings with no precise, stable definition” makes us see that because so many people see happiness differently in what makes us happy, how we find happiness, and what each individual perceives as proper happiness that there truly is no one true way to find happiness and everyone must determine for themselves what happiness is. As Porter claims a common concept of happiness is filling your life with material possessions and money, for some this is a valid source of happiness. Randy Frost of Smith College supports the claim that possessions make us happy by arguing “Our possessions all have magical qualities. Many, if not most, of the things we keep have an essence that goes beyond the physical character of the object.”(Frost) Continuing on to say that by collecting, holding onto keepsakes, and gaining the satisfaction of owning specific objects becomes something that makes people feel safe and secure and relives anxiety. Looking at a memento years after can remind us of that happy time in our past allowing us to re-live those moments, and keeping some sort of collection as a hobby and actively seeking out more objects to grow it give the satisfaction of hard work. An interesting point Frost makes is that half of what makes us happy about our stuff

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