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[COMMENT: Like the title says -- common sense....
q“There are three basic things that make people happy: meaning in their lives, control over their environment, and success in creating value in the world. And the way people get these things is not with money or power or fame—it is with their values. People who are serious about healthy values in their lives, families, and communities are much happier than others. The data say that these values come in eight categories: faith, family, personal liberty, private morality, non-materialism, opportunity, work, and service to others. Many journalists and academics dismiss these as just ‘cultural issues.’ But what happy Americans know is that nothing is more important than these things for building true happiness.” —Arthur C. Brooks, World magazine, May 17/24, 2008, p. 22
q“Faith is an incredible predictor—and cause—of happiness. Religious people of all faiths are much, much happier than secularists, on average. In 2004, 43 percent of those who attended a house of worship at least once a week said they were ‘very happy’ with their lives, versus 23 percent of those who attended seldom or never. The connection between faith and happiness holds regardless of one’s particular religion. One major 2000 survey revealed that observant Christians and Jews, along with members of a great many other religious traditions were all far more likely than secularists to say they were happy.” —Ibid, p. 23
q“We hear from a lot of politicians these days that income inequality makes us unhappy. This is not correct. What makes people unhappy is the belief that they do not have opportunities to get ahead in life. What they often complain about, however, is income inequality. Studies show that when people feel economically mobile, they actually like income inequality even if they have less than others because it shows them what they can achieve. The irony is that when politicians fight income inequality they often lower economic mobility by wrecking the rewards to hard work. And this makes the real problem worse, not better.” —Ibid., p. 23
q“I can’t stress enough that according to all the evidence, shooting for affluence or material comforts as a source of happiness is an error. As we see in the life and teachings of Christ and the prophets, happiness comes from an exercise of our good values, including a focus on service to others. Proper values are what bring a happy, well-ordered life. These things also bring prosperity. But to try to get personal happiness from material affluence is like trying to build a tall skyscraper by starting with the top floor.” —Ibid., p. 23
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