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It is common to hear people talk about things that they desire for a happy life and expectations of happy lives. Asking the same people who anticipate happiness to define the word may however yield…
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Supervisor’s 16 April How spiritual and religious guides can influence the pursuit of happiness Introduction Happiness is one of the aspects of life that people pursue in their daily lives. It is common to hear people talk about things that they desire for a happy life and expectations of happy lives. Asking the same people who anticipate happiness to define the word may however yield surprising results. Mand (14) explains that no formal definition of happiness exists and people may just be referring to some elements of happiness when they mention the word. An informal definition of happiness could be a stable attitude of satisfaction in a person and this identifies four major elements that a study on happiness should focus on. The first element is a state of human mind that is beyond that of other animals and this means consideration of happiness must go beyond what animals can feel. A consistent attitude over a long period and that is strong enough to overcome challenges is another element of happiness and this disqualifies short-term pleasures from being categorized as happiness. The long-term attitude must further be of satisfaction with a person’s environment and embedded in the person’s mind. The definition identifies significance of factors that influence a person’s attitude to happiness of the role of mediator factors on effects of the primary factors on a person’s level of happiness. An understanding of the actual definitions of spirituality and religion is therefore important for investigating and explaining possible effects of the two factors on happiness.
Spirituality is the aspect of a person’s inner being and how the person relate to his or her environment. It has been associated with such concepts as morality, holiness, and sanctity (Young and Koopsen 9, 10). Religion is, however, the practical manifestation of spirituality and is often visible through such aspects as culture and behavior. It is a social characteristic, unlike spirituality that is an individual trait and may be embedded too deep to be perceived from an outward look (Young and Koopsen 89, 90). The two however defines an individual’s personality, the individual’s interaction with the environment, and are therefore important in a person’s attitude towards contentment with the environment. A person’s moral conscience, an element of spirituality that can be manifested in behavior, can therefore define the individual’s value for other people in an environment and the people’s possessions. An understanding that spirit controls forces in an individual’s environment and that it is not an individual’s responsibility to manipulate environmental forces towards possession of all desires influences attitude towards an individual’s environment and is likely to promote contentment into happiness. The definitions therefore suggest a possible relationship between spirituality, religion, and happiness. This paper, based on a literature review, discusses relationship between happiness and both spirituality and religion and argues that applied from an individual’s perspective, religion and happiness can help a person to attain happiness. This is because effects of spirituality on personality can determine an individual’s success or failure and the individual’s view of his or her environment.
Works cited
Mand, Jas. The secret of happiness. New Delhi: Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd., 2004. Print.
Young, Caroline and Koopsen, Cyandie. Spirituality, health, and healing: An integrative approach. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2010. Print. Read More
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