Pursuit of Happiness

Ciardi is attempting to create a definition of happiness. To this end, he provides multiple examples to describe various aspects of happiness. He describe Thoreau’s dedication to spend as little time on lower level activities. With the time he saved on low level things, Thoreau would spend it on higher level activities. Thoreau’s effort to spend as little time on the trivial, is one of the virtues of Ciardi’s definition of happiness. Another pillar of happiness is adversity. With no challenge, there is no enjoyment in accomplishing a task. Ciardi then follows with a boundary for his definition; that happiness cannot be bought nor is static. 

I agree with Ciardi wholeheartedly. I believe that people thrive from challenges. Why else do we work harder when there is someone else vying for a job or when they are catching up in a race? But happiness is enigmatic, happiness for one person can be completely different for another. I agree with one of Ciardi’s last statements, that happiness can only be partial. to become truly happy, is to completely live life. And I will always be striving for that eternal bliss.




One thought on “Pursuit of Happiness

  1. Hey! I just wanted to say that I totally agree with your point on how the most powerful happiness comes from overcoming adversity. There’s nothing like showing what you’re made of in the face of a challenge, and the feeling that comes from that is unimaginable.

    It’s human nature to want to strive for something bigger than yourself, and to be able to accomplish that brings forth happiness embodying self actualization. Just as you said you are “striving for eternal bliss,” and ultimately that is what everyone wants. And it should be known that the winding road of adventure and the twist and turns of the sometimes upsidedownness of life makes our experiences into this intricate happiness that is hard to comprehend. It has happiness and it has sadness, but they all sort of mush together and still create this weird happy picture in our brain because we are learning and overcoming the projectiles that try to pin us down. Life IS adversity, and what we make of it IS happiness, and you post really tackles the task of explaining this!


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