Reading my Maslow on Management book again, I came across another good quote: 'one of my professors told me, 'you can't find happiness searching for happiness. You can only find happiness in service to somebody else.''
I like that way of looking at it. I heard on NPR tonight the statistic that American happiness index peaked in 1956 and has declined steadily ever since. Meanwhile, standard of living has doubled. So clearly there is a negative relation or no relation of material comforts to 'happiness.'
So should the Declaration have read that we all have a right to life, liberty, and service to others?
People worry that our material wealth has made us less dependent on our friends and neighbors. One stat said that we have half as many close friends as they did in the 50's. I wouldn't mind that changing, personally. It does make you happy to help others, particularly if you are down, depressed, or otherwise self-absorbed.