Reasons to be Cheerful

This week we listen in to the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC public radio out of New York City.  Brian brought Jennifer Michael Hecht, author of The Happiness Myth:  Why What We Think Is Right Is Wrong, on to his show to discuss her book and our notions of happiness.

Jennifer looks at our notions of happiness today in the context of history.  She is not interested in telling people what to do, but observing what people actually do.  Thus, this 22 minute program will not speak of any theological notions of happiness, but should call us all to question what makes us happy and what that says about us.

The Happiness Myth is divided into five sections:  Wisdom, Drugs, Money, Bodies, and Celebration.  Listen as Brian questions her about the absence of Love, Art and Beauty in our notions of happiness.  Jennifer also questions why it is that we so often value productivity and longevity over “family” values.  And why is it that Jennifer calls shopping a “central public pleasure”?

I have no doubt this interview will give you something to think and talk about.  You will not agree with everything said — I know I don’t, but her perspective is an interesting one — certainly worth the listen.


CREDITS:  “Reasons to be Cheerful”  The Brian Lehrer Show.  WNYC Public Radio:  May 14, 2007.


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