Not many people are happy, but all the libraries are filled with books on happiness, and this very fact should make us curious.
The Ancients gave us dozens of recipes on how to conduct a happy life, each of them contradicting the other, or at least, with very dissimilar opinions. The Modernity has its own solutions up to the negation of the very possibility of having a happy life.
And recently, mister Francis H. came up with his own idea of happiness. He argues that the problem of happiness can be reduced to wealth, knowledge and a personal belief of being "in control" of one's own life. Let's at first consider these factors.
Wealth is important, according to mister Francis H., ...view middle of the document...
History can supply us with arguments to both sides. If you don't like history, go to the nearest psychiatric hospital to see the lack of correlation.
Here we come to the third aspect of happiness: The personal belief of being "in control". This is not just a relative factor as the two previous ones. This is a subjective factor, and, to me, the only real one. It is founded on one's opinion or interpretation of external events, or one's own character, whatever you call it. Therefore it is crucial and subsumes all the rest. One is happy when he believes he is happy.
Let's discuss for a moment the problem of inclination that one has towards the opinions of others. The level of this inclination is in most of our fellow citizens very high, assessing by mere observation or giving just a little thought to the way commercials are made. The basis of advertising is the assumption that the public is incapable of having its own judgment, and this assumption must be right, otherwise the commercials would look different. How can you be happy if you didn't yet go to Disneyland or didn't have a big mac for dinner? Reversing the mode of commercials we could make a lot of people happy insisting that they are happy because they have so much. And this is what the politicians try to do when running for re-election. They know the...