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Friday, April 2, 2021

Post-Covid Happiness

"Rules for happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for."  - Immanuel Kant 

Like success, happiness resists being easily defined. Immanuel Kant's rules for happiness have given me solace more than once. If asked to add a single element to Kant's elegant formula, what would you choose? 

Today, after over a year in a Covid cocoon, I would choose laughter. Reflecting on seventy-one years of good fortune, it's clear that many of my happiest moments have involved people I love - rule #2 in Kant's formula - and laughter. It matters not which comes first - happiness or laughter. Laughing with people I love makes me happy and the happiness I feel surrounded by people I love can result in unbridled, grateful laughing. I've desperately missed that kind of in-person laughter over this past year. 

I submit Kant's modest rules can be a good first step as we all attempt to restore some equilibrium to our disrupted lives. Will happiness follow? For now, I'll settle for less disruption and more laughter with people I love. In my experience, happiness will flow from there.  


  1. Hello Pat. I'm usually an optimist. I've also been called naive', but I'm sticking with optimist. And in most things I do try to stay positive. Not sure if my 'Hope Springs Eternal' mood is the reason or if it's because I'm seeing more positive news each day (especially since November and definitely since January 20), but whatever it is, I'll surely take it. And laughter ... Always, always, always.
    It goes both ways, I would think. Happiness brings laughter and, well, laughter certainly brings happiness.
    And of course Kant's modest rules always have a place for what will result in happiness.
    Very timely post .. Thank you
    Be well,

    1. Bob; Thanks for comment. In my experience, some people - often pessimists and/or cynics - mistake optimism for naivete. In my view, this reflects a distorted world view. No matter; I'll take optimism, hope, and lots of laughter every day.