Happiness has always been one of the central conceptions that impacted peoples lives, their motifs, actions, and desires. However, the meaning of this idea has always been different depending on peculiarities of the epoch, dominant values, and peoples perspectives on their achievements and goals. The complexity of this phenomenon is evidenced by numerous definitions of the concept of happiness. The simplest one says that it is a state of being happy. It implies the absence of negative emotions, joy, health, good education, relations with a state, positive experiences, achievements, and overall satisfaction (Newman, 2018). Nevertheless, human beings are social creatures that exist in communities and associate all their successes and states with societal responses and appraisal. Additionally, the shift of priorities towards humanistic values that is observed today poses a question whether happiness of a person is his/her private issue or societal responsibility.
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Components of Happiness
As it has already been stated, health is an integral feature of a happy person. From the sociological perspective, it is defined as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being (Griffiths, Strayer, & Cody-Rydzewski, 2015). Additionally, in the modern society, a person has specific responsibilities and duties that imply preservation of their soundness as it is a critical element of the functioning of any state and its further evolution. For this reason, there is a particular bond between a happy person and a potent society. A healthy individual becomes more satisfied and contributes to the growth of a community to which he/she belongs.
Education is another aspect that can make a person happy. Analyzing the modern world, one can admit the increased importance of this issue as it provides people with outstanding career opportunities, better social status, and financial stability. These elements are fundamental to becoming happy. Moreover, from the sociological perspective, education is a unique phenomenon that is distributed unequally (Sadovnik & Coughlan, 2015). For this reason, the ability to get the needed degree or occupation becomes extremely valuable. From another hand, intelligent people drive change and create the basis for the further evolution of the society which becomes interested in educated, and therefore, happy people. In this regard, individual happiness becomes a societal responsibility of every person who lives in a community.
Finally, a state is another factor that can make a person happy. It is determined as a human community that has the monopoly to limit peoples actions and legitimate the use of physical force on its territory (Weiss & Lonnquist, 2017). In such a way, individuals happiness depends on how the state functions and on its well-being. At the same time, the prosperity of any nationhood is promoted by individuals contribution to its evolution and rise. Happy people work better as they have high motivation and better opportunities for outstanding performance. Under these conditions, every person acquires a certain kind of responsibility to become happy and create the ground for the rise of their state.
Altogether, these considerations prove the idea that being social creatures, people depend on communities in which they live, and their happiness is inseparably connected with these very communities development and well-being. In other words, individual happiness is a societal responsibility of every person who belongs to the modern society. However, we could also say that these issues are interdependent. Obviously, people are interested in becoming happy and acting to achieve this state they carry out their societal responsibilities.
Griffiths, H., Strayer, E., & Cody-Rydzewski, S. (2015). Introduction to sociology (2 ed). New York, NY: OpenStax.
Newman, D. (2018). Sociology: Exploring the architecture of everyday life (12th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
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Sadovnik, A., & Coughlan, R. (Eds.). (2015). Sociology of education: A critical reader (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Weiss, G., & Lonnquist, L. (2017). The sociology of health, healing, and illness (9th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.