First aired on IDEAS (20/6/11)
What is happiness? Throughout history philosophers, poets, religious leaders and songwriters have waxed on about their ideas of happiness and, in doing so, have stressed the importance of it. The notion that in order to lead a full life one must be happy is everywhere. Simply stroll through the self-help aisle at your local bookstore to see for yourself. Magazine and newspaper articles often link happiness to healthy relationships and successful careers. So is happiness the ultimate virtue we should all strive for?
Frank Faulk, a producer with CBC Radio One program IDEAS, isn't so sure. Faulk questions our culture's obsession with happiness and wonders if we should cool our hot pursuit of it. In "Say No To Happiness", a feature documentary for IDEAS, Faulk looks into the meaning and importance of happiness and interviews authors who have written on the subject. His guests include Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project), Daniel Polish (Talking about God: Exploring the Meaning of Religious Life with Kierkegaard, Buber, Tillich and Heschel), Todd Kashdan (Designing Positive Psychology) and Jordan B. Peterson (Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief).
Tune in to the fascinating documentary above and let us know what you think in the comments below. What does happiness mean to you, and do you think we, as a society, place too much importance on being happy?