HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

Emotions

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Henry David Thoreau’s quote, “Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” I think Henry was implying with this quote that if you’re focusing solely on trying to be happy and not paying attention to anything else, it will be unobtainable because you’re focusing on the ‘wrong’ thing. Once you begin focusing your attention on things within your life that make you happy and you enjoy doing, happiness will come naturally. The old adage that prompts us to pursue the ‘American Dream’ is essentially putting forth a mindset that there is a perfect ideal lifestyle out there that will bring happiness. Putting too much emphasis on an unobtainable life-goal will only lead to disappointment in the long run, and enjoying and making the best out of what is currently going on in your life is the only way to truly be happy. This is also part of my theory of why America might not be ranked as the #1 happiest country on the earth. America has it engraved into the mentality of its citizens that there is an American Dream out there, with a perfect happy family, and that is what everyone should be striving for. While other countries are more focused on just improving every aspect they can of the daily lives of all their citizens. Although the idea of the American Dream is most certainly fading nowadays, and the newer generations care less or just don’t believe in what used to be one of the ultimate American ideologies. Also if we’re comparing America to Denmark specifically, I believe that Denmark’s better access to free higher education and universal healthcare contributes to the overall happiness within the country.

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