What Is Happiness?


Rashai'ya Gadsden

Happiness is a tricky thing, but it is possible. According to academics and intellectuals at the Aspen Idea Festival, real happiness is long term and deep not short-term pleasure. Happiness means you have meaning and purpose in life. It is when you have good and healthy relationships with people. Kids, however, have a unique happiness problem. According to the World Happiness Report, since 2010 Americans have been sad. Beginning in 2012, screentime activities for kids have increased thanks to the popularity of smartphones. In 201,  the average 12th grader spent more than six hours per day on electronics. People have figured out that with all the screen time, there’s less face-to-face interacting. Therefore, people who spend most of their time on screens are less happy. On the other hand, people who spend most of their time on other activities are way happier. According Esfahani Smith’s TED Talk, there are the Four Pillars of Happiness. First, belonging is when you value people and they value you too. You’ve found your tribe. Next, when you have a purpose, it’s not about what you want. It’s what you give. Transcendence, the third pillar, is when you actually feel part of a larger whole, and you know you aren’t alone because you are one with everything. Finally, it matters what story about your life you tell yourself. If you believe your story is a tragedy, then that’ll make you a sad person. If it’s an adventure, that’s much better. At the end of the day there is a purpose to your life, and there are ways to be happy if you find it..