Happiness

Assuming we all want to be happy; which includes peace of mind, consider the following-

* If individual happiness is dependent on material success, then the more money and material wealth one has, the greater should be one's happiness. Compare Howard Hughes and Martin Luther King, Jr.

* If individual happiness is dependent on the extent and force of one's religious leanings, than the more extreme one's religious views, the greater should be one's happiness. Compare a terrorist with Gandhi.

* If individual happiness is in proportion to one's (culturally supported) idea of good looks, then the more attractive one is, the happier one should be. Compare Marilyn Monroe with Mother Theresa.

* If individual happiness is dependent on one's intellectual prowess, then the higher the IQ, the happier the individual. Think Edward Teller (physicist)…Dr. Strangelove.

* If individual happiness is dependent on one's weight, then the thinner one is the happier one should be. Compare Burl Ives with Charles Manson.

* If individual happiness is dependent on the state of one's physical health, then the physically healthier one is the happier one should be. Think Jim Morrison.

* If individual happiness is the result of recognition by one's peers, then the most popular, lauded, decorated and celebrated of us should be the happiest. Think Joan Crawford.

* If individual happiness is dependent on the level of our talents, then the most talented of us should be the happiest of us. Compare Beethoven with Tiny Tim.

None of these qualities seems to be the key to happiness. The guarantee of happiness due to these positions is a non sequitur of major proportions. We all know people (personally) and of people in the public eye who possess one of more of these positions. We also know that happiness does not necessarily accompany them due to these positions.

Happiness seems to be the result of an internal mindset. Therefore, we are in control of our level of happiness. Our attitude is everything in this matter. "I think most people are about as happy as they've made up their minds to be." – Abe Lincoln