Sunday, 2 November 2014

A bit of a waffle about happiness...

Listening to a TED talk on happiness, I was reminded of my educational thesis (many many years ago) which explored the development of self as linked to the other - Martin Buber  who suggested that we truly exist when we encounter others (the 'Ich - Du' relationship).  "... the modes of consciousness, interaction, and being through which an individual engages with other individuals, inanimate objects, and all reality in general...expressing the interpersonal nature of human existence....Common English words used to describe the Ich‑Du relationship include encounter, meeting, dialogue, mutuality, and exchange." (Wikipedia)

So as Nancy Etcoff talks about our innate desire for and pursuit of happiness, I found myself thinking about the PSHE syllabus, for which I am responsible at school. And of how, though we encourage giving and generosity and sharing, there are few educational objectives for this. Most of the syllabus is on improving oneself.

Of course, there are myriads of anthropological studies out there on the different ways in which societies function. But, perhaps, happiness really just boils down to one thing: interacting successfully with others, putting others' needs first, being generous and being loving.

Jesus, anyone?

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