Friday, May 22, 2020

Friday Feature: Flourishing

I've been reading a lot about happiness lately. It's not an unusual topic for me to be reading about, since I'm fascinated by positive psychology and teach a first year seminar in which we explore happiness, but it also feels timely.

Happiness isn't an elusive, ephemeral thing we have to wait for, like a butterfly lighting on our shoulder. It's something we can pursue, a fact that the founders of our country clearly understood.

But even those who study positive psychology don't think of life as a happy-happy-joy-joy existence 24/7. Instead, positive psychologists talk about flourishing, something that's possible to do even when we don't feel particularly joyous. And, because flourishing has multiple elements, it offers multiple angles in and, perhaps most important, more than one road to happiness.

As I type this, I am literally on the road, farther away from home than I've been in close to 70 days. Today, as we help my daughter move out of college housing for the last time, it's about relationships, engagement and meaning -- all aspects that contribute to flourishing, connection and, even in these troubling times, happiness.

Which road will you take?

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