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Wisdom on That State That Eludes Us Most...Happiness

Presents several quotations related to happiness. Happiness as a manner of traveling; Dispositions and circumstances.

Our far-flung faculty, joined by assortedscribes, sages, and stars, offer up their

"Every moment of your life that is not a complete nightmare is happiness."

--Merrill Markoe, humor writer

"Happiness is touching someone and making their life better. This last year I went to Russia to train women to set up their own domestic violence shelters, and to give them hope that they could make things better for women in their society, as we have in the U.S. I was happy to have made a difference."

--Lynn Gold-Bikin, J.D., chairwoman of the American Bar

Association's Family Law Section

"Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling."

--Samuel Johnson, 18th-century English philosopher

"Satisfaction of one's curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life."

--Linus Pauling, Nobel Prize-winning scientist

"Why not seize the pleasure at once? How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!"

--Jane Austen

"Happiness lies in your own hand."


"The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not our circumstances."

--Martha Washington

"To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition."

-- Martha Stewart

"Happiness is having a large, loving, close-knit family--in another city,"

--George Burns

"The deepest happiness comes from relationships with others--the mythic 'touching of souls'--a parent and a child, a couple in love, best friends, the selfless helping of one another."

--Frank Farley, professor of psychology, Temple University

"We are becoming a nation of men and women who, in their quest for happiness, all too often fall short of achieving any kind of inner peace. . . . We think that by always reaching higher, accomplishing more--more money, a better body, the perfect mate--that we will automatically be happy That's an illusion. All this reaching is making us crazy. We need to rest."

--Melvyn Kinder, clinical psychologist

"I'm as happy as a man can get, without arousing suspicion."

--Hal Kantor, screenwriter

"There is no 12-step program to happiness, or to its longer-lasting cousin, satisfaction. Some people think a happy society can be achieved by suppressing individualistic desires; others believe individual happiness can be attained without attending to the needs of others. But individual and social needs shape each other. Lasting happiness requires constant negotiation and redefinition of both personal and societal goals,"

--Stephanie Coontz, Ph.D., family historian and author of

The Way We Never Were

"You never find happiness until you stop looking for it."

--Chuang Tzu, Chinese philosopher, 5th-6th century B.C.

"Happiness is absorption in a cause which in the end is but illusion."

--Joseph Campbell

"If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have a paradise in a few years."

--Bertrand Russell

"Happiness is a blue sky, without clouds."

--Alfred Hitchcock

"If only we'd stop trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time."

--Edith Wharton