My response to ” How Happy are You ? ” article

After reading the article I gotta say adding just a few questions about happiness to a census is not a bad idea. Just like Dr. Gilbert said , “It costs nothing to add some questions about happiness “. So why not do it ! Not only would it benefit the people in Somerville , for example a person would already feel happy knowing their government is interested in knowing wether they are happy with conditions and policies in their town , but it would benefit the government to have a better understanding and knowledge on what should be improved . Now in days people just don’t care about things like voting and participating on political events or even trying to at least find out whats going on in the world they live in. In my opinion adding happiness to the census would bring more citizens to actually fill out a census and really pay attention on filling it out and not just breeze through it just to get it over with. Everyone deserves to be happy where they live and changing the census give people that opportunity and gives them a voice as well.

How Happy Are You ? A Census Wants to know . Summary/Response. : Katiria Altruz

The article “How happy Are You ? A Census Want to know by John Tierney is about a city named smoverville. It’s a city where they had to fill out a census form so the government can know how happy they are .So this census was based on the question “How happy do you feel right now ?” which the people from somerville had to answered from a scale to 1 to 10.The government want Somerville to be the first city in the U.s to keep records of people’s happiness.Beside promoting things that only can they sell , they want to promote happiness for everyone .But some don’t think that happiness should not be promoted by the politicians like the psychologist and economists because happiness can be right but its not the same as writing it or saying it on a questionnaire.Since more than 7,500 people have mailed back the survey , some of them did not clearly answered the questions on municipal concerns.Most people aren’t satisfied even if the questionnaire  was supposed to help but it didn’t they still trying to find a way to make people happy.

Everyone has something that make them happy so no one knows what truly make someone happy because it can change any moment or anytime.Happiness cannot be measured because they cant go by what the people fell that they want , instead they should see in what they need .Not everyone the same so of course there are going to be people who won’t give their opinion  because everyone thinks differently or do things for themselves .The survey shouldn’t be based on a person mood at the moment because the information that they had might get lower and might not help the people be happy at all .The kind of things that would be important in a well-being is happiness , life satisfaction ,fulfillment , families , and the role of parenting.Its unmeasurable because those things people do for a living and its things that matter most to them.some people don’t want to be part of the community  because they want to do things on their own and work hard for the things that they need and want.Being in a community is a big thing you have to help others and be a part of them.

Happiness cant be promoted because everyone has a different ways of being happy. Happiness cannot be measured because only the person can decided what make them happy and no one else.The government shouldn’t be promoting or measuring happiness because they wouldn’t know what people would want or feel because it takes a lot of effort and time .Happiness cannot be brought or maintain because its like the weather it comes and go . It very unexpected .For others happiness is just having the company of others like family or friends or playing your favorite video game .The kind of things important for your well being is having good company , love from the one who are close to you , good mental state , having a balance diet and living stress free.

How happy are you? A census wants to know. Summary/Response. Mirna Ayala

In the article, “How happy are you? A census want to know” a town named Somerville has taken the initiative to distribute surveys to its residents in order to learn about their general happiness in their hometown. Residents who decided to participate in the surveys were required to rate their happiness on a scale of 1-10 and answer various questions about their lives based on their surroundings and daily concerns. The surveys even asked personal questions regarding their personality and decision making skills. Several residents didnt mind the questioning and found it refreshing that their happiness was being taken into consideration by the government. In the article, a woman named Vanessa Lagerman states she appreciates the city’s efforts. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve noticed a lot of things the city has been doing, like installing bike lanes” said Vanessa. She agrees with the idea of the surveys and proceeds to say, “I think it’s a good thing, because policies can be changed to make people happier.” The reason behind this attempt is to create a generally content environment. The government wants to see if they have the power and ability to increase the happiness of the people by finding out what exactly they would like to see differently in their town. Throughout the article, different people give their outlook on the surveys and how they think it will affect them. Tara Acker states, “Is there a correlation between happiness and open space or green space? If we see low levels of satisfaction correlated to low levels of income, perhaps we want more programs aimed at low income people.” Basically, the surveys are designed to be the foundation of the government’s new projects. For instance, if a large percentage of the people are unhappy because their isn’t a playground around them for their children to play in, Somerville will begin construction on building a playground for them. What about the smaller percentage that doesn’t need a playground but needs a closer school so they won’t have to travel such far distances for an education? Not all expectations or wants can be met, however the government doesn’t all this to hinder their mission in making all of its citizens happy. 

In my opinion I don’t believe happiness can be measured nor promoted. People’s feelings change everyday, there is no way they can keep everyone happy all the time. The government shouldn’t be getting involved with how people feel. I believe it’s an invasion of privacy, the government already monitors and controls everything around us, now the way civilians feel is under surveillance too? If the government really wants to help it’s residents, there are many more services that can benefit them and ensure them long term happiness. Such services as, affordable housing, creating more jobs, improving the school system, putting an end to the school’s budget cuts etc. Those are the things that the government should be devoting their time to. Helping with these issues would contribute to long term happiness opposed to making little changes here and there. The problem with the officials making certain changes based on these surveys is that what may bring happiness to one might take it away from another. If they really want to help and make a difference for the people of Somerville they should make general changes that everyone can benefit from not just a percentage of the people.

Article Response How happy Are You? Tanaye A

According to The New York Times’ 2011 article; “How Happy Are You? A Census Want to Know” by John Tierney, Somerville, Mass. started to question, “How happy do you feel right now?,” on their census. Citizens are given a scale of one to ten. Some people were actually happy at the moment. The purpose of asking this is to become the first city in the United States to track people’s happiness and to advertise policies and make changes in a city that was once in danger to gain happiness. Somerville wish to see the effects on installing bike paths and opening new parks to see if people’s feelings will change while mass transit is getting improved.

However I don’t think happiness can be measured the way Somerville did because; the census didn’t come in everyday. Therefore people feel different everyday or at a different time of day. For example when asked in “how happy are you? A census wants to know, “how satisfied are you with your life in general?” a guy gave himself a six only because he wants to be three inches taller and wants to speak Quechua fluently, which is accurate for him because that’s something that he wants, but being three inches taller isn’t going happen instinct it’s based on his genes. But speaking Quechua can happen if he takes the time to learn it.

Yes, I do think happiness can be promoted because it only takes one person or something that makes you happy, and it can be the little things that make you happy, just by someone saying Hi to you and it made you smile or brighten up your day. For example Somerville was known as “Slummerville, but sense its city is getting gentrified its making the city’s reputation better and looking better as well. Vanessa Lagerman who have lived in Somerville for six years, is a resident who appreciates the city’s effort of making changes to the city, such as adding bike lanes, but that may be happy for people who ride bikes, but not for people who drive cars because it may can cause a lot of traffic.

I think many things are important to our well-beings, according to Mr. Brennan the owner of P J Ryan’s, a pub In Teele square who also noticed the city’s effort, but noticed that while the census was taking surveys it’s going to be high because of what they are doing now to the city, as he said it depends on the mood of the person at the moment, as I said before. If the city wants to something to happen and they see it happening, or there are changes being made. Then of course its satisfying their well beings. As for me I think transportation should lower its prices because it’s too much. Yes, its only $2:50, but that can be a meal for lunch. I don’t think it should increase , and the government continues to increase transportation, but trains are still running slow, having delays, and aren’t working proper, and machines take our money, and for you to get your money back ,you have to go through a whole process by filling out a form and mailing it, is ridiculous . But as for some New Yorkers like me we are spending $30 every week for a weekly metro, which I think is highly too much and $115 for a monthly is even worse. The government knows exactly what they are doing by taking our money. If transportation lower its prices I think less people will hop the trains and will it satisfy everyone well beings, it definitely will satisfy my well being.
Lastly I think their can be a conflict with individual and community well being because, one can say people who are on public assistance shouldn’t have to pay taxes, the community might love that, but the people who aren’t on public assistance will disagree because they will think it is unfair. However I don’t think it’s a measure to people’s happiness it’s based on your mood, and how you are feeling at the moment because people feelings change every day.