Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Five Things You Need To Be Happy

I just saw a posting by CK about asking college students: name five things you need to be happy. I jotted down my answers before reading the entire Arbitrary Marks post. You're welcome to grab a pen: What five things do you need to be happy?

Okay, maybe this shows a class difference: my number one is having my basic needs met for food, clothing and shelter. As a matter of fact, I first began to list each one separately, then realized the wisdom of lumping them together so that I would have room for:

2. Love/life partner
3. Family
4. Friends
5. Freedom

I was disappointed that I'd filled up all five so fast! I want a sixth one for fulfilling, meaningful work. And a seventh for world peace! Gee, could I give up having friends or a place to live in exchange for world peace? No, I could not.

The college students have a similar list, except they omitted basic needs, possibly under the assumption that they're a given.

CK wonders if this Love-family-friends trio is generational. CK, a "Gen-X-er, was thinking in pretty individual terms, about my own freedoms, ability to be compensated, pursue my dreams, etc."

None of us put down good health, I notice. Other than that, I imagine that my list (with basic needs first) would be more in keeping with what people around the globe would say. Or, perhaps answering a question about happiness would have no relevance to many people, beyond basic survival? I kind of doubt it, because humans seem to be made to love....Hmmmm.

Anyone else have a top five to share?

Tomorrow, I'm off to the Large Congregation Conference. I'll be picked up at the crack of dawn by a group of some of my favorite Unitarian Universalists (in a rented mini-van). Hooray!


ck said...

Hey, sorry, but it wasn't CC--it was me, CK at Arbitrary Marks...thanks for the reflections, though! I'm sure there is more going on than just generational differences--someone else pointed out that the students self-selected to go to the same institution, which may have influenced their responses.

Elizabeth J. Barrett said...


Good heavens! Thanks so much for correcting me. I wondered why CC was posting over at Arbitrary Marks...How does she find the time? I'll edit my post.

Jen said...

1. community
2. nature
3. art
4. health
5. intimacy