It is always pleasant to experience positive emotions. Everyone strives to attain a positive mental state. There are various perspectives that define happiness.
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Many religious approaches and perceptions on happiness define happiness as a spiritual fulfillment that is transcended with inner peace and contentment. Such religious perspectives towards achieving happiness are advocated by religion factions such as Christianity and Buddhist. Psychologists also have a strong view on happiness. In this perspective, psychologists view happiness as a scientific concept.
Nonetheless, the sociological approach in defining happiness is more satisfying. For example, the approach acknowledges that happiness has two dimensions; psychological and economical (Hirata 5). As a matter of fact, many people are accustomed to the above dimensions whenever happiness and well-being is discussed. Personally, I always feel happy when I am able to meet my basic needs and afford a luxurious life.
For example, if I don’t get sick within a year, I tend to think that as a sign of positive well-being. Moreover, if I can buy a luxurious car, a house and afford a balanced diet, education and entertainment, I will consider to be living in happiness. The following discussion below highlights how happiness and well-being is viewed from both a psychological and economical perspective.
Michael Marmot in his book The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity tries to justify happiness from a social perspective. In his article, Marmot alleges that social standings can only be viewed from an economic perspective.
In his article, Marmot justifies that one must have a certain economic stability to have good health. According to Marmot, an individual’s happiness can only be derived, if the individual is employed, healthy and well educated (Marmot 2). The writer exemplifies how a well educated person is in a higher social hierarchy than an average educated person.
An educated individual understands the importance of family planning, and controls his earnings and lives in a good house. To the author, these are the basics towards achieving happiness and living healthy. Marmot highlights how the poor in America die early. This is a social trend that Marmot describes as very common in the underdeveloped communities. He alleges that people who live below the poverty line are more prone to depravity of basic needs.
Nevertheless, Marmot is very categorical in his theory of the status syndrome. According to Marmot, the status syndrome does not necessarily affect the poor, but also the rich (6). The status syndrome determines an individual place in the society status hierarchy. From the status syndrome, the author demystifies the assertion that lifestyle diseases are only associated with the rich. Marmot uses a sociological, scientific and political approach to analyze the status syndrome concept (18).
From a personal point of view, happiness can only be achieved, if one has control over certain aspects of life. For example, control over economic, social and political independence is critical in achieving happiness. A happy life should be void of diseases, poverty and lack other essential commodities.
A happy life should consist of political freedom and respect to personal rights. An economy that allows people to develop and grow financially is an ideal environment for happiness. In such environments, families afford luxuries and enjoy holidays, when the society’s economy allows affordable health care for all. I believe that with a good education, I will be able to get a well-paying job or at least create an economic project that creates profit and eventually benefits the society.
Hirata, Johannes. Happiness, ethics and economics. New York, Taylor & Francis, 2011. Print.
Marmot, Michael. The status syndrome: How social standings affects our health and longevity. New York, Henry Holt and Company, 2004. Print.