Are You Happy?

There is one thing that we all desire, one thing which we are all striving for, and that is happiness. The aim and object of every human being is to be happy. Perhaps not every person would be prepared to admit as much on the instant, or to frame his answer exactly in those words; but he would be a rare individual who, after pausing to give reasonable consideration to the question, would not be ready to confess that the goal of his earthly hopes and aims could be concisely summed up thus: "I want to be happy."

How to attain to that universally desirable state, of course, is quite another thing. Here opinion and method will differ widely. Many, possibly a majority, would hold that happiness is to be attained by the accumulation of wealth; others, by acquiring position and power; and some again would pin their faith on the freedom and opportunity to live at ease, without work or responsibility and in pleasant, wholesome environment, as the surest and best way to make themselves happy. Even after he has finally decided on what he considers the best means to reach that something he calls happiness, the searcher is not always quite clear as to what it actually is that he is pursuing. What, after all, does it mean to be happy?

Learning to Love
October 9, 1943

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