Is happiness a duty?
Posted on June 9, 2011
Many people consider it a duty to be happy, but French philosopher Pascal Bruckner considers this approach mistaken. Bruckner outlines his argument in his new book, Perpetual Euphoria: On the Duty to Be Happy. The Boston Globe has more (including a link to the book’s introduction):
Bruckner’s conclusion is that we don’t just overstate the importance of happiness; we make a fatal mistake in thinking of happiness as a kind of duty. If we’re not happy, we feel as though we’ve committed a crime against ourselves; if we are happy, we feel as though we’ve accomplished something.
[What his book] boils down, though, to a simple and valuable idea. Suffering is a natural part of life; it counts as living, too.