NPR’s Take on Happiness
A broad look at happiness from a pop-star, some scientists, a businessman, and a monk
I drove for over an hour on Christmas Eve eve, some of it in the middle of traffic. Holiday present-buying traffic—almost as bad as Black Friday traffic. I know I drove for over an hour because I listened to a really nice hour-long podcast that I will now recommend to you: NPR’s TED Radio Hour recording on happiness.
I recommend taking a listen because despite Christmas present-shopping and running such illustrious and relaxing errands as registering a new car and paying taxes, I was grinning from ear to ear.
It came out ten months ago, but it remains a joy to engage with. It features TED talks and in person interviews from prominent positive psychologists, an entrepreneur, a journalist, a Benedictine Monk, and Pharrell Williams (whose hit song Happy I’m almost certain you have heard somewhere).
Here’s a preview of the ideas it covers—
|Does Less Stuff Mean More Happiness?|
|What Does It Take To Be Grateful?|
If you only have fifteen minutes, skip to Brother David Steindl-Rast’s talk on gratitude.
If you only have a few minutes and you read quickly, simply read the transcript.
If you only have one more minute, read this paragraph from his talk:
Now the key to all this is that we cannot only experience this once in a while. We cannot only have grateful experiences. We can be people who live gratefully. Grateful living, that is the thing. And how can we live gratefully? By experiencing, by becoming aware that every moment is a given moment, as we say. It’s a gift. You haven’t earned it. You haven’t brought it about in any way. You have no way of assuring that there will be another moment given to you, and yet, that’s the most valuable thing that can ever be given to us, this moment, with all the opportunity that it contains. If we didn’t have this present moment, we wouldn’t have any opportunity to do anything or experience anything, and this moment is a gift. It’s a given moment, as we say.