Bookmark: The Psychology of Happiness: A Good Human Life by Samuel S. Franklin

Reading this book has made me acutely aware of the seemingly endless political rhetoric superficially bantered around “the pursuit of happiness,” during this highly charged campaign season. These incessant and incomplete sound bytes are all the more reason to read Franklin’s book and find out what Jefferson actually did mean when he wrote about “the pursuit of happiness” in our Declaration of Independence.

The author makes a compelling case through extensive research as to why happiness is so much more than just a feel good state of mind. He provides a road map for “habits of living a good life,” through a blending of Aristotle’s principles from his Nicomachean Ethics with the contemporary psychological finding of living well. Aristotle called living well eudaimonia.

According to Franklin, in today’s society, “while there is no adequate English translation of the term, it generally refers to what we now call a good human life or just plain happiness.” And while happiness is unique to each person, Franklin contends that “As long as we are in pursuit, moving forward, developing, and fulfilling our potential, we have a good human life: eudemonia or happiness.”

In this material world where conspicuous consumption often blurs the good deeds of conspicuous compassion, and inane sound bytes rival for our attention, I suggest you enjoy some well-deserved quiet time and reflect on the discerning and understandable writings of a profound subject by a truly exceptional and talented author. You may find yourself living a more meaningful and good human life whilst in the ultimate “pursuit of happiness.”

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