The History of Happiness

Today the Western world is caught up in a culture of happiness, but it wasn’t always so.  It was only in the 18th century that people began to focus on the pursuit of happiness.  Since then, it has gained momentum and spread to every aspect of behavior, from religion and politics to work and parenting. It’s important to trace this steady encroachment of the happiness imperative because it reminds us that today’s values are not givens in the human condition.  Culture reflects choices, and new choices can change it. In “The History of Happiness,” in the January-February 2012 Harvard Busine.....
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