A new narrative of happiness is emerging.

by Lawrence R. Samuel Ph.D.

Americans are considered to be a generally happy people, both among themselves and by foreigners, but the story of happiness in this country is in fact not an especially pretty one. Self-doubt, insecurity, and uncertainty have been tightly woven into the narrative of happiness, a major source of frustration for those seeking to be happier people. In conjunction with our achievement- and money-oriented society that is often the source of what Alain de Botton called “status anxiety,” the belief that we are a chosen people and a shining example to others around the world to follow have set too high of a bar of happiness for most individuals to actually realize.

Our core mythologies grounded in specialness and superiority have been instrumental in leading Americans to assume they are entitled or have an inherent right to happiness, the basis for a rude surprise when life does not turn out that way. Our expectations for happiness have far exceeded its realization, in other words, suggesting our way of life rooted in consumer capitalism has major flaws in terms of emotional fulfillment.  In a nutshell, happiness has proven to be an elusive and often futile pursuit in this country over the last century, something that has held true across the social divisions of race, gender, and class.

One thus has to question Americans’ inclination to work harder to make more money in order to become happier. Inscribed in our national charter, happiness is no doubt a very American idea, but the ways in which most of us pursue it are not very well suited to creating it. Our system of free-market capitalism (the American Way of Life) and aspirational ethos (the American Dream) are actually better designed to generate stress than happiness, I believe, with the pressures of modern life not conducive to promoting a state of wellbeing. Those who have dropped out of the “rat race” are more likely to find a sense of inner peace, history shows, implying that our competitive society is at best not ideal and at worst fundamentally flawed in terms of seeding the possibility of happiness.

The coronavirus pandemic is a terrible thing, of course, but it has presented us with a singular opportunity to rewrite the story of happiness. Our priorities have realigned, in the process laying a foundation for a happier future, both individually and collectively. We have become less acquisitional and consumptive, a very good thing given the detrimental role that the endless pursuit of stuff has played in our lives. We’re more appreciative and grateful for what we have and less concerned for what we desire. Our orientation has shifted more towards relationships with family, friends, and neighbors, which research study after research study has shown to be the ideal basis for nurturing happiness. With our interconnectedness now readily apparent, we appear to be caring more for each other, this too a main ingredient of happiness. We’ve become more patient and reflective, a precious asset that most of us have undervalued. Our slower pace has provided the time to focus, a far richer luxury than anything we could purchase with money.

Amidst all the bad news, then, a new narrative of happiness is emerging, one grounded in the simple pleasures of life, the most important one being love. Let’s embrace this once-in-a-lifetime chance to transform ourselves into a truly happy people.

2 thoughts on “Why the Pandemic Could Make Us Happier People”
  1. Happy about what about……?
    ***CBS News Reports on Pollution and Caronavirus 2020…

    LBRC- Title- Study Finds Caronavirus Could Be Carried For Long Hours And Distances By
    Pollution- For CBS News Report about Study, Go Here>>>

    Now on YouTube- Type in, “Study Finds Caronavirus Could Be More Contagious Than
    Previously Thought”, or use this link>>>


    The Facts:

    1. Blacks live in some of the most “Industrialized and Polluted” Zip Codes in
    America. Even Majority Black Urban Areas are Polluted, Now say Haywood/Thompson, Press
    Park and on in New Orleans!

    2. Though Cancer Alley in Louisiana is thought Rural, Blacks live in “Dense
    Clusters” in close proximity to Chemical and Industrial Plants! (btw- These Chemical
    and Industrial Plants, most, are “Former Slave Plantation Locations”). In fact,
    some Elementary Schools are located along “Plant Fence Lines”, NORCO, Convent,
    yada…! Fox 8, New Orleans has done several reports!

    3. Only recently, there were protest at the Denka Plant in Cancer Alley! Denka
    “Exceeds” TRI (Toxic Release Guidelines Established by the EPA)!

    “Blacks are more pre- disposed to Covid- 19 due to lots of factors, including
    Environmental Racism”! The new CBS Report appears to confirm Pollution a Factor!
    Cancer Alley Starts in “Orleans”! Majority Negro Orleans, urban, still leads
    the State in deaths and incidents and How vulnerable is “The Port of New
    Orleans” to “Radiation Leaks”? Have there ever been any? How would you
    know? *What about ‘Dat Lundi Gras leak in 2018 which caused St. John to close its H2O
    intakes from the river/ NOLA.com (Did you even know this)? TRI self reports in Louisiana,
    hmmm…, How would EPA know unless an Industrial Plant reports it or an
    “Incident” is reported by a civilian! The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus
    has never spoken out “Publicly”! Why???

    Peace Out…

  2. Expect to pay!!!
    “Render unto Politicians, Apostates and Capitalist what is theirs”! Deny ‘Dem,
    then let’s see how productive and creative they really are without what you
    “give” ‘Dem (minus the o, n, s)? How many are giving back “Now” during Covid- 19! Lots
    only give back what others give ‘Dem to give back, then they take “Center Stage!

    LBRC- Democracy, Religion as well “Capitalist” talk about “The
    People”? Who are “The People” in 2020?

    a. One easy way to get “The People’s” money in a Democracy? Get Elected, say
    you need the ‘Mulla, then tax under their eyelids, “The People”! Who Believes
    in 2020, Politicians would rather work hard establishing a bonified business, then be
    rewarded according to the quality of “What They Provide”? Politics is about
    being rewarded for what you say aka “Gift of Gab” and Deception plus ” Back
    Slapping”, like what Dr. Anthony Fauci did to ‘Dat Trump General after ‘Dat Covid-
    19 so- called Press Briefing (Another btw and incidentally- Wasn’t it the press
    conference where #45 intimated his flock try drinking or injecting ‘sum disinfectant?
    Appalachia is already ahead of ‘yah! Just kidding, hmmm…?) “Deep 6 Quality”!
    ‘Simps ‘luv a good show, especially “Living For The Weekend”!!! Thank you O’

    b. Apostate Preachers ‘luv a good show and so do most of you! They are some of the most
    clever “Deception” Artist! They call buildings they control or construct The
    “Church”? Built with man’s hands??? Christ is returning for a
    “Building”? Logic 101- Why is there “A Really Holy New Jerusalem”
    with 12 Gates in Revelations coming down, if Christ desires a “Building” from
    a world He Labels “Filthy”? ‘Sum ’em is wrong WIC ‘Dis ‘Pitcha!!! Should we ask
    Greta after her Elementary School Hrs.? Don’t stop there- Then Apostates say- Those who
    do not contribute “Are Robbing God, (g)od or ‘Dem”? Uh oh- We see “Pay Back”, no pun intended, “Divine Payback” related to “Deceit” aka “These people who claim to work for
    Avon do not”!!! Uh oh!!! Their view of “The Tithe”, Apostates, is monetary
    or as close a Fiat you can counterfeit, “Non Levite Related” aka
    “Anti- Scripture” aka “The Heard/ Herd Affect” (btw- Satan and his
    crowd in Revelations are called Anti…, none of His??? What say you? The Jeopardy Music has stopped
    in 2020!, Not withstanding lots have spent “Church Funds” on some of the most
    Ludicrous, “Filthy” Enterprises- Materialistic,, Idolatry and… ! Holy men/women??? Yeah, right!
    Idolatry, Consumerism related items to include but not limited to Fees for Prostitututes
    “Literally and Figuratively” (Do you really want us to name names, those not
    already “Publicized”?) and yada…, The Skinny? Their versions of so- called
    prosperity are “All about The ‘Mulla!! “What would a man/ woman give for their
    soul” aka Politicians, Preachers Apostates, Capitalist? Ans. ‘Mulla!!! To be seen
    of, with and got ‘Mulla! btw- For all The Negro Apostates, 32 Piecies Judas Bag Chasing
    others and Wannabe “Little Big House” Aspirants? “We SEE (y)ou…! He Does
    Too! Uh oh……., Remember what the Cartoon said?- “You’ll be
    sor…….ree…….”!!! Uh oh!

    Peace Out…
    btw- Why do so many people complain about their kids being home, yet Teachers say they miss them? Who spawned them, you or the Teachers? Teachers deserve raises!!! We just ‘sayin…

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