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Our Basic Human Pleasure: Food, Sex and Giving by Nicholas D. Kristoff - Essay Example

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OUR BASIC HUMAN PLEASURE: FOOD, SEX AND GIVING Savannah Alexander School name: Eastern Michigan University Professor John Fikes Outline Executive Summary What kind of person would you rather be? Factors which determine happiness Volunteering, Giving and Happiness Nobility and happiness Implications Conclusion Reference List Executive Summary Human beings tend to seek happiness by engaging in activities such as helping others, eating or sexual activities…
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Our Basic Human Pleasure: Food, Sex and Giving by Nicholas D. Kristoff
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Download file to see previous pages Giving and socializing have been linked to happiness and contentment as opposed to selfish thoughts such as those of food and sex. This paper is a report on Nicholas D. Kristoff article “Our Basic Human Pleasure: Food, sex and giving” which was published in the New York Times on 17th January, 2010. A critical analysis and discussion of the article is presented with a view of describing what is actually meant by happy living. What kind of person would you rather be? Simple experiments by scholars of neurology and psychology have studied human beings to investigate the kind of behavior and things which make people happy and leave them feeling contented with life. A juxtaposition of two different people with different looks, achievements and lifestyles are brought forth with an intention of evaluating what would make one happier than others. On one hand, Richard who is a successful white trader at 36, is described in terms of his good looks, good living environment, ambition and determination to achieve more in life but does not involve himself in helping others. Lorna on the other hand is a black woman who is not attractive with a kidney problem. She is 64 years old and overweight but having an active social life. Lorna has close relations with her husband and grandchildren and participates in church work and giving tithes. It is evident that the two people have divergent lifestyles and differences. Factors which determine happiness The two examples which the author illustrates in the article bring the attention of the reader the various factors which determine whether an individual is happy or not. Race, gender, age, appearance, health, family, lifestyle, financial abilities, participation in the society and giving have been illustrated by the author through the examples of Lorna and Richard. These examples are actually adapted from “happiness Hypothesis” by Jonathan Haidt.2 The argument behind these two examples is that most people would be willing to be like Richard but in the actual sense, Lorna is happier. From the perspective of Haidt, it is therefore arguable that it is the manner in which people choose to live their lives which determines their happiness. In this sense, problems, bad looks or ill health does not necessarily mean than an individual is not happy. From these illustrations it is evident that people who socialize with others are presented as examples of happy living. It is argued within the article that it is wrong to assume that men are usually happier than their female counterparts.3 This argument is true because it is one’s perceptions, attitudes, behavior and lifestyle which determine the level of happiness which is experienced.4 Within the article, the author admits that the issue of health in relation to happiness has some complexities which are debatable. The author’s standpoint is motivated by two main points. Firstly, poor health may make a person to be depressed and unhappy and secondly, a person can adjust to poor health and live a normal happier life even in cases of chronic illnesses. In addition to gender and health, the author points out factual information about the factors which are believed to be the determinant of happiness. For ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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