What Is Human Happiness



Each of us has repeatedly thought about the question, "What is happiness?" It is no secret that people have wondered about this since ancient times. Recall the reflections of the Nepalese philosopher Buddha: "There is no way to happiness: happiness is the way," or Aristotle's statement that "happiness depends on ourselves. These statements indicate that the question of understanding happiness belongs to the category of eternal problems, rather complex and ambiguous. It is no coincidence that this concept is considered in different spheres of human life.

In my opinion, the origin of the word "happiness" is interesting. There is a legend that this word owes its origin to bread. The fact is that in ancient times, when someone was born in a family, the custom was to bake bread. Guests were invited into the house and the bread was divided into parts. The newborn child was also allocated its share, a part. It was believed that from that moment he lived with "part" of the blessings of life. That is how the word "happiness" came about.

Let us now turn to the lexical meaning of the word "happiness". D.N. Ushakov's dictionary gives the following interpretation: "Happiness is a state of contentment, well-being, joy from the fullness of life, from the satisfaction of life. The key words of this phrase can be considered "contentment," "well-being," and "joy." But are these words associated with happiness for all people? Let's turn to the philosophical interpretation of happiness. So, happiness is a concept denoting the highest good as a complete, self-valuable, self-sufficient state of life; a generally recognized final subjective goal of human activity. Polish researcher Wladyslaw Tatarkiewicz distinguished four basic meanings of the concept of happiness: 1) good fortune, good luck, successful life, luck; 2) a state of intense joy; 3) possession of the highest goods, the overall undoubtedly positive balance of life; 4) a feeling of life satisfaction. Thus, the philosophical concept of happiness includes two components: 1) something that depends on the subject himself and 2) something that does not depend on him and is determined by external conditions.

An interesting interpretation of happiness from the point of view of neurophysiology. It is impossible to measure happiness, but it is possible to study the processes that occur in the brain when we experience positive emotions. Happiness, scientists argue, is very individual. The subjective experience of happiness can be divided into two relatively objective components: the emotional (the intensity of bad and good emotions) and the cognitive (the integrity of our consciousness). The "recipe" for a happy life, such images include two components: positive emotions (and, in particular, the absence of negative emotions) and a sense of meaningfulness of what is happening in the world around us and with ourselves. Based on the explanations of neurophysiologists, happiness depends to a large extent on the person himself and the conditions in which his life puts him.

Literature also poses the question of happiness. Since literary work is considered a reflection of life, the statements of writers and poets will be interesting in terms of the popular understanding of the problem in question. "It has long been noted by intelligent people that happiness is like health: when it is there - you do not notice it. But when the years go by - when you think of happiness, oh, how you remember!" - the quote from M.A. Bulgakov's "Notes of a Young Doctor" reflects the widespread belief that happiness lies in simple things, in the absence of unhappiness. It is also believed that one cannot build one's happiness in solitude, an idea confirmed by Boris Pasternak in his novel Doctor Zhivago: "Happiness isolated is not happiness." And a fragment from the diary of Alexander Vampilov proves that love is associated with happiness at all times: "What exactly is happiness? For a young man with imagination and emotion, it is to live in a noisy city, where there is a courtyard and a house: in the evening you push a button - the girl you love runs out." 

So, happiness is a subjective concept. Everyone puts his own understanding of it, for each of them it is manifested differently and in different ways. Reflecting on this eternal problem, let us look at how the younger generation interprets happiness. 

The fact is that in this age period a person achieves a high level of intellectual development, mental experience is enriched, for the first time considerably his individuality, his own inner world, self-determination in professional and life plans is carried out. In the period of adolescence there is an intensification of the process of reflection - the desire for self-knowledge of own personality, for the assessment of its abilities and capabilities. The subject of attention and careful study becomes own thoughts, aspirations and desires, experiences. Therefore the problem of personal happiness for boys and girls is especially relevant. What the younger generation owns in the concept of happiness.

- The well-being of loved ones and support from their side;

- comfort, peace, emotional stability;

- love, a beloved person;

- prosperity;

- joyful moments in life;

- freedom;

- health;

- communication with friends;

- a job that I love; a good job;

- goal attainment;

- life in general;

- leisur


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