How Happy Are You? A Census Wants to Know

The article “How Happy Are You? A Census Wants to Know” by John Tierney researches Somerville Massachusetts. This research is premised on a Census report taken April 30, 2011 where they rated the population’s overall happiness on a scale of 1-10. The results would by and large dictate the social policies of Somerville. The Census is also backed up with a detailed telephone survey from a randomized sample of Somerville’s 76,000 residents.

In my opinion, granted, number don’t lie, however the flipside is that these “Social Policies”, and the implementation of them doesn’t necessarily result in a person’s happiness. Change is imminent of course, but I’m talking holistic happiness.

For example, the question “how could it be a bad idea to measure directly the very thing you are trying to maximize?” To me that’s an extremism concept. It appears that going from 0-100 is the ONLY order of the day it seems, and that’s just not realistic. There’s no maximum without a minimum, no good without bad, no day without night. The key is balance. The pursuit of happiness, I get that, however the adage “Progress not Perfection” should be prevalent in this case. That should be the only order of the day. For that’s attainable and practical. It’s also easier on the psyche.

Social Policies, according to the article, “Are always meant to promote things that promote happiness”. Where I’m from, social policies create chaos. My neighborhood becomes a “Police State”. I’m not totally personalizing, however sometimes it can’t be helped. True happiness comes from within not without.

Parks, bike paths, etc., it all sounds good and may actually be good, but none of that is from within. I believe that true happiness derives from the simple things in life in my opinion. Work, health, great home, great kids. I am happy. The key is to make time for you: a nice brisk 5 mile run, a relaxing bath (Calgon Take Me Away), meditation, solitude.

Being cognizant of your acts and deeds in relation to how it affects yourself and others because it always, most certainly will.