Happiness and hedonism and more…

Happiness and hedonism and more…

September 15, 2009, 9:30 pm

The Long and Short of It

By Paul Bloom

Is it better to be a happy pig or sad Socrates? How should one choose between happiness and other values, such as wisdom, morality, and piety? You have an angel on one shoulder, the devil on the other _ã” who do you listen to?

One of the insights of modern happiness research is that these are questions we often don_ã_t have to answer. While happiness can clash with other ideals, the surprising finding is how often they go together. One usually doesn_ã_t have to decide, for instance, whether to be happy or to be good. We are constituted so that simple acts of kindness, such as giving to charity or expressing gratitude, have a positive effect on our long-term moods. The key to the happy life, it seems, is the good life, a life with sustained relationships, challenging work, and connections to community. You can be happy Socrates.

To read more about happiness, from this great New York Times series – click here