On Happiness

On Happiness

by Scott McLay Forbes

For my loyal friend, Emma Hutchinson, to whom I dedicate this blog post, fully realizing that I have not been able to communicate by speech, as I have the speech disorder of aphasia, and that a letter is thus the only way to respond to her pursuit of the good of friendship.

I think if happiness is not rational, as are the emotional complexes, and as are the intellectual complexes, it is not worth pursuing, because then there would be happiness with no reason, and I believe that is accurately called “mania.”

So I have gathered this list of an article and some quotes to bring you to where I think you could be.

If you think “I feel bad.” you will feel like a bad person, with a bad feeling. If you think “I feel good,” you will likewise compare yourself with how you feel when you are feeling bad.  I think it is responsible to question whether happiness can be described in terms that are ethical, for feelings that are compared with unethical ideas or emotions.

In short, if a person stops thinking ethically “good” or “bad” about their emotions, then that person is able to reason about them without their interference.  It may be possible to define one’s values and goals, preferences and desires, in terms that are not “good” or “bad.” A person is not being bad because they feel bad.  A person is not being good by just feeling good. You could just as well think “Now I feel that I am good,” or “Now I feel that I am bad” instead of emoting as you think about the moral problems of the world.

It is too heavy a burden for a person to carry for any length of time to ride their emotions without rational purpose to the way they feel.  Rationalism is the belief in personal development, and emotivism suggests that such reasons are merely epithets of “boo” and “yea.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eudaimonia – Here is an article on happiness that uses Aristotle’s term for happiness.

What we call happiness in the strictest sense comes from the (preferably sudden) satisfaction of needs which have been dammed up to a high degree.

-Sigmund Freud

Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance

-Jane Austen

The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another’s keeping.

-Dale Carnegie

To love is to place our happiness in the happiness of another.


It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.

-Agnes Repplier

Happiness in this world, when it comes, comes incidentally. Make it the object of pursuit, and it leads us a wild-goose chase, and is never attained.

-Nathaniel Hawthorne

There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.

-George Sand

Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.

-Ernest Hemingway

There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.

-Henry David Thoreau