Friday, April 3, 2009

Finding Happiness or Bliss

I've been thinking a lot about the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Read the full test at
The point that I've been pondering is whether the pursuit of Happiness is an unalienable right. I have lived my life with the thought it is, but again it depends on your definition of happiness.

I just finished reading "The Geography of Bliss," by Eric Weiner. This book was not only a travelogue, but also a book that made you stop and think. The premise is that Mr. Weiner travels to several countries to find out why these places and the people who live there are the happiest or in a couple cases the least happy places to live. What it really does is make you start asking what does make for a blissful existence? Is it the pursuit of happiness as Jefferson obviously believed, or is it in the recognition of what have (not what we don't) and the gratitude that we can all employ?

This book discusses countries like Bhutan, which has a Gross Domestic Happiness policy instead of Gross Domestic Product policy. This made me think with GDP all profit is good whether its from war, violence, or etc. In Bhutan, the happiness of each citizen is considered before enacting any policies or legislation. It's a really great thought when you think about it. I know some of you are saying, well how the heck do you measure that? To be honest...the way to measure it is still being discovered, but maybe a compromise of the two would make sense. GDP doesn't tell all of the story. And Albert Einstein had a sign hanging in his office in Princeton that sums it up nicely. "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

So read this book and tell me about your happy place. Mine was on a beach in Barbados. As it snows in Colorado, that beach sounds so lovely. The sun was setting, and I felt more at peace then I had felt in a long time. My friend and I were enjoying the light and its interplay on the water. Suddenly, we saw masses of tiny turtles struggling through the sand trying to get to the ocean to begin their life's journey to pursue their happiness. Some would make it and most would not, but they would all die trying. That is my happy place. Please share yours, and I will share your thoughts on a future blog entry.
Have a blissfully happy weekend!