Saturday, March 04, 2006

It's Not All About Me

I was looking back at the blog of Scott and Kelly's friend Jeremy and came across this article by George Will that I had missed in the Star. It talks about the fact that in every poll since 1972 conservatives have rated themselves happier than liberals. Both Will and Jeremy seem to indicate that because they are happier they obviously have the more correct outlook; they are closer to figuring out the key to happiness and life and thus somehow smarter. But they seem to miss the point that conservatives always miss--of course it's easy to be happy if you only have your own happiness to worry about. If you care only about yourself and pursue only your own gain, you have a decent chance of succeeding. The thing that distinguishes liberals is that they actually care about others and, in fact, tie their own sense of happiness into the happiness of the rest of the world. I know, no matter how individually successful I am, I can never really feel this world is a good place as long as there is poverty and war and unnecessary suffering. My privileges shouldn't come at the expense of anyone else, and I can't be self-satisfied if there's something I can do the make life better for others. So, sure, I'm less likely to be happy, but only because I care.

1 comment:

Hadrian said...

That's a nice way of putting it. Or there is the way one of the Right's favorite books puts it: "For in much wisdom is much vexation, and those who increase knowledge increase sorrow". And bonus, it's OT too!