The term “The Pursuit of Happiness” was used in the American Declaration of Independence. In hardly any other country has the self-thinking of a country, the self-knowledge of the nation, been expressed in so few words. The “pursuit of happiness” itself is an American principle, a secular idea and a mantra for Americans to move forward. This is perhaps one of the few issues that unites today’s scattered and divided nation. The way Americans understand the word happiness today is different from what its founders thought. Some scholars believe that happiness lies in “the realization of one’s worth and the dignity that comes from contributing to one’s community and one’s public life.” (In fact, like many words in all languages, the etymology of the word “happ” is very interesting. It is derived from the Old Norwegian word “happ,” meaning chance or luck.)
For Americans, as for the rest of humanity, happiness means an intense feeling of joy and pleasure. From this point of view, happiness can come from your job – a good car, a good house, the environment around you, wonderful weather, beach vacation and leisure, delicious food, high-quality electronics, luxury. The elements of happiness can be wealth, a well-paying job or a thriving business, or a brilliant academic career. You may get happiness from your partner, family and friends.
So the essential element of all these types of happiness is that it relies on external stimulation. To put it simply, it depends on external factors. There is something outside of you that makes you happy. In this way, happiness can be understood as acquired. This is the bridge that connects the American belief in the pursuit of happiness and American consumerism and American prosperity.
There’s nothing wrong with that. In the pursuit of happiness, Americans have turned their country into an economic superpower. For millions of people around the world, America is synonymous with a better life. Better life means America.
But there is another idea that goes beyond established beliefs. In a country as diverse as America, there must be such unity that defines the American way of life. The pursuit of happiness shouldn’t just be the American way of life. It can also coexist in other ways, in a way that does not require acquisition, possession, or consumption, that is unaffected by external factors, in a way that does not require any searching or persistence.
Physically speaking, Indians are poorer than average Americans, but richer in terms of civilizational heritage. Indians will find their happiness intuitively – a way of life that finds happiness within oneself, that is the achievement of happiness.
The word happiness cannot be translated because it does not exist in the Western concept. For this reason, there is no equivalent word in Western languages. The English word “bliss” is very close to “pleasure,” but only just. Happiness is an inner journey that lies within you, your journey to contentment that no external thing or factor can provide.
Americans are said to be indifferent to other cultures or lifestyles in other countries. Can they warmly accept ideas or teachings other than the Western system of thought? Yes. Just as Indians have embraced burgers, Americans have embraced yoga even more enthusiastically.
Yoga has shown Americans that there is a gentler, more beautiful, and more satisfying way to exercise/exercise than the options available in the West. In fact, yoga is much more than regular physical activity. But Americans didn’t need to know the spiritual aspects of yoga to embrace it. He just needed to see if it had a positive effect on his body or not.
The same process of assimilation can be applied to American thought. Americans can adopt the pursuit of happiness as a lifestyle, for this they just need to adopt a few basic principles – one must find contentment within oneself, self-satisfaction. And its basic process is: How to do it. Either way, Americans love “How to.”
Yoga is a means to happiness, an exercise. This will allow Americans to understand the concept of happiness since they have already internalized yoga.
Material happiness is not only fleeting but also tiring. The endless search for external factors that bring happiness can be exhausting. Perhaps no one experiences this fatigue more than Americans, even if they don’t always admit it. In such a situation, a concept like Happiness for America is urgently needed. A country that has made the pursuit of happiness its principle can also make the achievement of happiness its new mantra.