You are on page 1of 5

Casperino 1 Casey Casperino Professor Lago College Writing 1100 18 September 2013 Root to Evil There is no doubt that

happiness is a popular topic amongst people. There are many studies, books, psychologists and even college courses dedicated to the topic of happiness and the search to find just that. But what makes happiness so great that everyone strives to obtain it? The truth of the matter is, happiness is not this greatness that it is made out to be. Happiness is a root to all evil and it is important to allow negativity into your life. There are more important aspects to a persons life than their happiness level. The less worried a person is about it, the better off they are. In fact, being a bit negative is needed. When a person is negative, or pessimistic, they see the world through clearer eyes, opposed to someone who is floating around on cloud nine. In Jennifer Seniors essay, Some Dark Thoughts on Happiness, she talks about a book which contained a study showed that depressives are far more likely to be realists, while happy people are more likely to walk around in a mild state of delusion. (Senior 430). This just proves that being happy blurs your vision on what is really going on in your life and the world you are living in. As a child, I grew very ill, very suddenly, and began to have a more realistic view. It started off slowly but progressed quickly, undiagnosed. After being ill for so long, being so young, and getting nowhere near a diagnosis even with the all the different doctors I was going

Casperino 2 to visit, I found it hard to remain happy or positive. My appearance was gloomy, partially due to what the illness was doing to me. I also was emotionally gloomy, but who wouldnt being so young and sick for so long. My friends often asked if I was okay and if everything was alright, which shows you who truly cares about you. Being sad from the situation I was in not only helped to show peoples true colors, but also helped me feel better as I progressed closer to a diagnosis. Every time I would go to a new doctor or a new test, and they would find out something, I was able to experience some happiness, which helped me get through it. When you allow sadness into your life, it allows you to experience joy in situations that you may not have experienced it if you were already happy. The idea of happiness is so intriguing to some that they may become so interested in this topic they are studying and lose track of themselves throughout it. Someone that was interested in the topic of happiness was Philip Brickman. Brickman was famous for a study he conducted on the correlation between winning the lottery and being happy. He was so interested in happiness he may not have let sadness or negativity into his life, causing him to jump from the tallest building in Ann Arbor in May of 1982 (Senior 428). Jennifer Senior talks about a happiness indicating test known as the Authentic Happiness Inventory. She states how by taking this test, she scored below average based on facts about herself. These facts were her age, gender, education level, and occupation which was then put against other people in her zip code area. By doing this, she found out that even though her score, which was a 2.88 out of a possible 5, it was below the average for her age or occupation, she was at the half percent mark for her zip code which means even though she may be considered to be on the sadder side of life, so were half of the people she lived with in her area (Senior 422).

Casperino 3 In order to better understand Senior, I took the Authentic Happiness Inventory Test. As you register for the test, you are prompted with questions such as, your age, gender and education level, which is used to later give you a comparison to similar people to yourself. The actual test contains 24 questions with multiple answer options to choose from. After completion of the test, you receive your score and some information on comparison to others. My score on the Authentic Happiness Inventory was a 3.04, putting almost 50% happier than those in all the same categories as me. This puts me in a neutral territory, not really happy or sad, which is a good place to be (Authentic Happiness Test Inventory). One of the factors in the Authentic Happiness Test was location. Each location had a different norm as far as their average number went. One of the studies Senior talks about in her essay is the happiest and saddest countries and compared them to one another. She goes on to say that people in the happiest countries are more likely to kill themselves (Senior 426). If people who live in the happiest countries are more likely to kill themselves, that shows that happiness may be something people want to stop chasing after. This chase for happiness is something a lot of people go on, but why do they always search for happiness? Once people obtain happiness, they want to hold onto it and never let it go. Having happiness in our lives opens up doors for letdowns. Most times when you are extremely happy, you think that nothing could bring you down, but that usually is not the case. Something bad happening to someone that is extremely happy would have a major effect on them and their mood. This drastic mood change would make the event seem worse than it truly is. Feeling this dramatic change in mood may also affect the person so much that it may take longer for them to recover from the event. If the same event happened to a person who was not overly joyed, their reaction to it would be more appropriate and recovering from it would not be difficult since they

Casperino 4 were not as emotionally affected. They may have also seen the bad event coming because they are not living in a blur. The topic of happiness will always be a heated discussion topic and people are going to continue to research it in hopes to make progress on the topic. There is no need for this. All this happiness is not needed in life. Too much happiness, whether having it yourself or researching it, needs to be avoided. Happiness is not this awesome thing that people think it is. It is actually a root to evil and should be avoided at all costs possible.

Casperino 5 Works Cited Authentic Happiness Test Inventory. N.p., 2006. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/ Entry.aspx?rurl=http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/testcenter.aspx>. Senior, Jennifer. Some Dark Thoughts on Happiness. Writing and Reading across the Curriculum. Ed. Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. 12th ed. Boston: Longman-Pearson, 2013. 422-30. Print