"The pursuit of happiness"

Is "the pursuit of happiness" nothing more than self-seeking? What is it that lifts this pursuit above selfishness to genuine satisfaction in being and doing good?

Late one Friday afternoon I was walking across a college campus on my way to practice on an organ. The campus was very quiet, nearly deserted, and I found myself feeling lonely and vaguely unsatisfied. It suddenly seemed that my life was all work and no fun. I felt left out of something special. It was a feeling that came from nowhere, certainly not springing from any obvious dissatisfaction in my life.

Then two students passed me. They were on their way to a party. And I remembered that it was a Friday night. I remembered the excitement of college weekends. A car with its stereo system turned up, party clothes, a home basketball game, a good movie, romance—all the fun and adventure of college life. Then suddenly my thoughts were filled with typical images from advertisements, television, movies—images that hadn't even been a part of my life when I was in college, but were unsettling, nonetheless, with their lure of happy times "out there" that I was missing by going to do my practicing.

July 6, 1987

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.