When people talk about happiness or pursuing happiness, conflicting views are made on the idea. When the idea of happiness comes up, many seem to think of going to their favorite restaurant, receiving a new iPhone, or having fun in a vacation spot. However, the truth is that happiness has nothing to do with any of these experiences. These may be short term luxuries, but they are worth merely nothing when discussing happiness.
The concept that individuals achieve their individual happiness can best be seen in the American system more than any other system ever devised. The primary reason for this is because it requires people to earn what they truly desire instead of it being given. The fact is that when people work hard for something, the chances are that they will be much happier people. That is why I consistently argue that the American values system produces more happy people. Demanding people to work hard and take care of themselves and others in the scheme of having the state limited from the lives of people is truly better for individuals and makes people happier.
Some may argue that this system produces a narcissistic society and more self-centered people. But the fact is that if people are individually required to take responsibility for their own lives and work hard for their earnings, they will tend to also feel the need to take care of others in the community. That is why Americans give far more charity than the other citizens of any other country in the world. However, if the people rely on the state to give them what they need to be happy instead of earning it themselves as it is done in the Welfare States of Europe, you will produce a more unhappy and selfish society. If people assume that they will be taken care of by the state, they will tend to have a less of a desire to work for their earnings and they will assume that the state will take care of their fellow citizens instead of doing it themselves. If people are given benefits from the state without having to work for them, you will most likely produce a society of ingratitude; therefore producing unhappy people.
If a person earns $30,000 by working for it as an example, the chances are, according to various studies, that they will be happier than someone who wins $50,000 from a lottery. People have to understand that happiness is earned, not given. Moreover, the next time you encounter a policy to vote on, ask yourself if it will increase or decrease a sense of dependency on the state to give people what they yearn to be happy.
In the American system that requires people to work hard to achieve happiness, happier people are produced because they will have gained the most important characteristic in the life of a human being: gratitude. Grateful people are happier and are more likely to do more good for the world. If you look at all the evil that was done by people in history, they are not among the happiest people in this world.
Just remember that in the Declaration of Independence when it says that the American people are “endowed by their Creator” with the unalienable right of the “the pursuit of Happiness”, it requires people to be earning it instead of having things being given to them to be happy. The idea of “the pursuit of Happiness” is an action. If the Founding Fathers didn’t believe that, then it would say in the Declaration of Independence that we have the “right to be happy.” The pursuit of happiness is not about having things being given to us to be happy, but it is about the idea that it is up to the individual to achieve success and to earn their happiness.