Happiness

The Fisher-Price God: A Call to Childlike Play

By |2019-08-15T12:51:19-06:00October 20th, 2018|Categories: Christian Living, Happiness, Josef Pieper, Philosophy, Wisdom|

Play is a deeply spiritual activity because play is primarily about community. The joy present between two that are playing together is a shared joy. It is neither the possession of one nor the other… But let us ever praise him, and extol His bounty, following our delightful task To prune these growing Plants, [...]

Finding Refreshment in a World of Endless Work

By |2019-09-02T10:09:17-06:00October 3rd, 2018|Categories: Happiness, Information Age, Josef Pieper, Labor/Work|

It only took a moment. The smartphone was somewhere in the grass, forgotten. Our hands and jeans were covered in smears of purple and green sidewalk chalk. My two-year-old daughter and I were busy drawing roads and buildings on a square of pavement—here a library, there a post office, with our house around the corner. [...]

Our Unknown Neighbors & the Fate of Community

By |2019-07-23T12:51:09-06:00September 27th, 2018|Categories: Community, Friendship, Happiness, Social Institutions|

The last Saturday morning in August, my wife noticed that some of our neighbors had a moving truck outside their home. After watching with the kids for a minute or two, she acknowledged that she had never seen the people before. I recognized the man, though I had never spoken to him—he seemed to purposefully [...]

Can Morality & Religion Lead to Happiness?

By |2018-09-08T22:53:53-06:00September 7th, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Happiness, Morality, Religion, Virtue|

The problem with the notion that one should do good because doing good leads to happiness is that, well, what if it doesn’t? Throughout human history, the greatest thinkers and theologians have each proposed a state of being which in their view was the highest state of personal fulfillment one could achieve. For Plato, the [...]

Proper Matches, Romantic Elopements, & True Love in Jane Austen’s Novels

By |2018-09-04T22:21:36-06:00September 4th, 2018|Categories: Fiction, Happiness, Jane Austen, Literature, Love, Marriage, Mitchell Kalpakgian|

Jane Austen’s heroines live, choose, and marry according to the highest wisdom about love that is ruled by principle, not convention—by the prudent mind, pure heart, and informed conscience rather than by the false prudence of the world preoccupied by money, image, lust, or self-interest… Readers of Jane Austen’s novels recognize the plot that [...]

Utopian Fantasies vs. Real Happiness in Samuel Johnson’s “Rasselas”

By |2018-08-31T22:40:41-06:00August 31st, 2018|Categories: Culture, Fiction, Happiness, Jonathan Swift, Literature, Mitchell Kalpakgian|

In Samuel Johnson’s novel Rasselas, the eponymous character discovers that happiness does not derive from a beautiful place, luxurious palace, or constant entertainment, but depends upon a composed state of mind in possession of truth… Throughout the eighteenth century novel theories of happiness and utopian ideas of perfect societies gained respectability and popularity. The [...]

Pray, Don’t Worry, Be Happy

By |2018-01-05T13:58:48-06:00December 29th, 2017|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Faith, G.K. Chesterton, Happiness, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Virtue, Wyoming Catholic College|

A Catholic, liberal-arts college’s course of study, being an integrated one ordered to and by natural and supernatural wisdom, is an excellent apprenticeship into the contemplative life, which does not replace the active life, but only crowns it and makes it worthwhile… Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious [...]

Does God Want You to Be Happy?

By |2017-11-05T17:28:37-06:00November 4th, 2017|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Happiness, Religion|

The Bible does not speak of “happiness” as such, though it often speaks of “joy,” one of the signal characteristics which Jesus bequeathed to his disciples… In The Mind of the Maker, her brilliant book about theology and art, Dorothy L. Sayers discusses the differences between the biblical and modern attitudes toward life as revealed [...]

The Pursuit of Happiness

By |2019-08-27T16:40:50-06:00December 19th, 2016|Categories: Classical Education, Featured, Happiness, Liberal Learning, St. John's College|

A free mind is necessary for our personal happiness, for living a good life, the life suited to our nature... Fifty years ago I shook the hand of our president, signed the College Register, and sat where you freshmen are sitting today, awaiting the happy start of a four-year adventure into the books and conversation [...]

Music: Giving the World a Rhythmic Sway

By |2019-10-10T21:59:16-06:00May 31st, 2016|Categories: Featured, Happiness, Music, Peter Kalkavage, Plato, St. John's College|

“Music, too, is nature.” – Sound and Symbol by Victor Zuckerkandl This essay explores the differences between two perspectives on music: one ancient, one modern. The texts I have chosen are Plato’s Timaeus, a dialogue that freshmen will read in seminar toward the end of the year, and Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation, a [...]

Finding Happiness in Our Cell Phones?

By |2019-09-25T15:57:51-06:00May 21st, 2016|Categories: Aristotle, Christianity, Culture, Featured, Happiness, St. Thomas Aquinas|

It’s called FOMO: that sneaking Fear Of Missing Out on the experience that will make us feel happy and fulfilled—what Aristotle calls “human flourishing.” It comes from a belief that happiness comes from something we do, and social media exacerbate our fears, because when we see other people accomplish, experience, or achieve something we [...]