Essay 1 Pre-Draft: Thesis Paragraph

Happiness is one word, however with many meanings and definitions. For some people  happiness can mean wealth or for others happiness can be the moment they bring a child into this world. What exactly is happiness? What really makes us happy? The money or the moments? Or maybe buying happiness? In the article “How to buy happiness” by Sonia Lyubomirsky, it states “An additional strategy for buying happiness is to spend money on others instead of ourselves” and i believe that the best way to achieve great happiness is to make others happy.

Does Money Buy Happiness (?)

In the article “How to Buy Happiness”, by Sonja Lyubomirsky, they surveyed over two hundred thousand college students about what makes them happy and the majority of the answers were ‘being very well off financially’. The author didn’t understand how money and happiness went hand in hand so she decided to speak with an ivy league graduate about it. At the end of that discussion, the graduate realized that he had it all, everything he can ask for but he still wasn’t happy. Studies say that it is not about how much we spend or what we possess but more of how we spend it. When looking at an updated study, the author realized that the more income an individual possessed the more happier they claimed to be, mostly because of the wealth they contained. Where other places, such as Cornell University and University of Colorado, believe that experiences is what makes us happy. When we get new things it is only a matter of time until it becomes old to us and needs to be replaced, but experiences we tend to remember them. Another reason why experiences are richer is because they cant be compared to by others, which is different from a possession where people can compare them to. They tend to say people who compare themselves to others or belongings to one another are those that tend to be unhappy within themselves. There was another study that said a way to gain happiness is by spending money on others. The act of buying something for someone whether they need it or not gives us a sense of gratitude and compassion. It gives us a sense of well-being and helps build social interactions and relationships with others, we are so distracted by our own problems that we forget the world.

In the world we live in today, many people believe that money buys happiness. In my opinion it is all an illusion. When you go out and spend money on luxurious things it feels good, however it is only a temporary happiness. But, when you go out with friends, family, or loved ones you create memories that will stay with you forever.

Say for example you are a parent with a full-time job, you have a stable income but you don’t get to spend as much time with your child as you wish. As far as home necessities and all the materialistic things in life, you have them because your able to afford it. So you spend all this time living and believing that you are happy, or at least content. Then the day comes where you are laying in your deathbed, you wont be thinking to yourself ‘i should have worked another hour’ but more like ‘i wish i could have spent more time with my child’.

Just because you make money, you don’t have to let it make you. Life is what you make of it and money is temporary, whereas memories are forever.

“How to buy happiness”

According to the Los Angeles Times article, “How to buy happiness” by Elizabeth Dunn and Micheal Norton, our happiness can increase depending on how we spend our money. The article began by making us readers think on what would we do if we woke up the following day finding one million dollars under our mattress and asking us what would we do with it. Many people start thinking about buying a new home, cars and other material items that they believe will make them happy or bring them happiness, however in reality materialistic things in addition to thinking about yourself will make you happy temporarily. While spending your money on making memories and on others to make them happy makes you satisfied overall, and what does satisfaction bring you? Happiness of course! One example that supports this is an experiment that was done on a college campus. They gave the students Starbucks gift cards in which they were split among three groups: one group of students were told to use the gift card on themselves, another group was told to pass their gift card to someone else, and the last group was told to use the gift card to buy something for someone else while hanging out with that person at a Starbucks. Results were that those who treated someone else at Starbucks were happiest out of everyone. The authors had a good point with this article stating that spending even just a few dollars on someone else provides more happiness than using cash to treat yourself because I completely agree. I feel that buying memories has a bigger impact on your happiness and that the littlest thing can be the biggest in most cases.

So I asked myself, “What would I do if I found one million dollars under my mattress” and the first thing that popped in my mind was buying myself certain things, but then I looked at the bigger picture and how far would I get with that and how would it impact in my life and my mind automatically changed. I would much rather not have much, spend that on others around me so that I can see their joy cause in all reality there’s nothing better then making others happy.

Article: How Happy Are You? A Census Wants to Know Summary/ Response: Ivyz Fuentes

The article “How happy are you? A census wants to know” By John Tierney, is basically about Somerville, Massachusetts  officials wanting to track people’s happiness systematically so they can become the first city in the united states to do so. They want to improve the city’s success, economic growth and promote policies that produce more than just material well-being. The people of Somerville got a new question on their census forms that spring, asking them on a scale of one to ten how happy do they feel at the moment. Psychologist  and economist supported the idea of monitoring the citizens happiness but debated on how to do so and whether happiness is the right thing politicians should be promoting.

I personally don’t agree that happiness can be measured and promoted because in my opinion how happy someone feels about certain things can change overnight. For example, on the city’s census form there were questions like “how happy do you feel right now?” and “how satisfied are you with your life in general?” yes i understand where they are coming from with those question but say someone is having a bad day, why wouldn’t they say they aren’t satisfied with life? For the simple fact that that’s how they’re feeling at the moment but tomorrow come and they’re completely satisfied with everything, their life, things that are happening around them ect… Also, I feel that happiness can’t be measured as a whole but individually because different people have different feelings about certain things. What might make me happy and satisfy me might not do so to the next person and that’s where conflicts between individual and community comes in. There can sometimes be conflict or maybe not, depending on what. It also depends on how strong a community is as a whole because it can go smoothly with every individual agreeing with one another or side ways with certain people agreeing with a situation and some not. For example, in Britain and France they also have been analyzing citizens happiness and I’m guessing certain citizens didn’t agree with some decisions because there were violent riots and protest broke out.

In my opinion If the government is measuring happiness and promoting anything it should be to increase happiness. If it isn’t to do so, then they shouldn’t be measuring anyone’s happiness. That’s like everyone in New York taking a survey about how certain things make us feel or how happy certain things make us and the government isn’t doing anything to change that and to make us happier. At the end of the day the government is going to do what they feel, they shouldn’t ask us what makes us happy or how happy are we about something if it’s obvious that a change needs to be made. That’s like raising taxes and asking how do us citizens feel about it. It honestly doesn’t matter how we feel because either way it’ll remain the same.


Ivyz Fuentes

Hey everyone, My name is Ivyz (Pronounced with an E) . I am 19 years of age but will soon be turning 20 on October 16. I’m from Brooklyn and have lived here my entire life. I am the oldest of six kids, three brothers and two sisters plus me. My siblings and mother are my biggest motivators, they’re the reason why I’m actually in college and striving to be the best that i can possibly be. I like to listen to music and just sit back, relax and have a good time even if its just a day in the house. This summer I didn’t really do much but start packing boxes to move into my new apartment, went to the pool, hung out with my boyfriend and spend time with my nephew.

Since this is my first time being in college I don’t really know how i feel about it. I still don’t know my way around the school but hopefully by next week or so I’ll get the hang of it. My expectations for this semester is to get through is with little bumps on this road possible for the simple fact I’m the type of person to stress over everything, even the little things. I hope to meet new people/friends because I honestly don’t have many. Hopefully I learn everything there is to know about each and every one of my classes. My Career goal and biggest desire in life is to become a successful therapist for sexually abused and depress kids/teens. I feel like I can make a big impact in someones life if I can help them get through a situation or situations they have been through (or still possibly going through) .

My Weakness as a writer is that sometimes i don’t know how to start or end my essays or sometimes I don’t have enough ideas to even form one. What I like about writing the most is that I can use it to express myself. When I was in fifth grade I actually wrote a paper for a magazine called ‘Voice’. It was basically an article about what wish would I ask for if I could have a wish granted and my wish was for my little brother whom has brain damage to no longer have it.

I believe that happiness starts within. That in order for you to be happy with anything you have to be happy with yourself. To me happiness means that you’re satisfied. I feel like it’s a choice like there’s so many people in this world that knows what it is to be happy but choose not to be. Happiness involves positivity, fulfillment, love, pleasure, well-being and ect.. If you go into any situation being negative or hateful of course you wont be satisfied with the results and if you aren’t satisfied then you’re not going to be happy.If you aren’t happy with yourself then how is it possible to be happy with anything else. That’s like going shopping finding a nice shirt trying it on and you aren’t happy with what you see in the mirror, why? Not because now the shirt isn’t nice to you anymore but because you don’t like the way it looks on you because you aren’t happy within.