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Word Count: 715
HappinessThe foolish man seeks happiness in the distance the wise grows it under his feet-James OppenheimAs I gaze out the window in my room my curiosity keeps me therewondering what it is that makes a person smile Do they smile because they aregenuinely happy Or because they just heard a funny joke Maybe their smile is justa mask used to conceal their pathetic lonely reality Through speculation andinterviews I have been able to untangle the uncertainty of meaning true happiness Happiness has no limits for it can be felt at any time any place to any person Apersonal experience confined to the person and moment it belongs Many people chase happiness thinking of it as pleasure or riches Howeverit is elusive until we stop looking for it Happiness is not pleasure for pleasure is anend in itself It is something that is hunted for Happiness cannot be hunted for it isnot obvious but inscrutable It confronts us in infinite forms The idea thathappiness is the one ultimate good is known as hedonism1 The hedonists believepleasure is the highest goal attainable in life and can be found through outsideinfluences They are forgetting that there is much more to happiness than what canbe seen For example it is possible for a millionaire to be unhappy despite theamount of money in their bank account while at the same time a hermit may behappy under the most miserable circumstances Although money may bring animmediate sense of pleasure to a person it does not produce the stability that isassociated with true happiness Pleasure may help a person avoid the detractors thatcause unhappiness but it does not produce the stability that is associated with truehappinessHappiness is realized by understanding ones self which is completely apersonal experience For instance a person may find happiness in one thingwhereas someone else may in another or both may find it happy in the same thingbut for different reasons Written in the Declaration of Independence
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