Who and What is the Happy Warrior
This blog is a representation, in conversational form, of my voyage to wrap my arms around the world in which Mr. Worsdworth's warrior finds happiness.
(Standing disclaimer: Luckily tests of spelling accuracy ended in 4th grade otherwise I would still be in Elementary School. Be forewarned, spelling errors ahead. I subscribe to the wisdom of a great man who said, "I have utmost disdain for a man who can only spell a word one way." -Benjamin Franklin)
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
I'm back... with a happy thought
You may also think that I drifted away in a discouraged fog after the presidential elections of this past November. I will not lie: I was extremely disappointed. But it is not in my nature to get discouraged. If I am able to squeze a few minutes out of the coming days I will have more to say on the post-election reality. For now, suffice it to say that all my previous postings are yet valid and I have significant trepedation for the direction of this country. As a teaser, let me say that I am composing my predictions of events that will transpire during the next four years -let's call it "predicting the United States of Obama".
For now, however, I want to share a thought provoking account of recent research. As I've done in the past, I present this with a STRONG caution. This summary is taken from a media write-up of the research and not from the published article itself. The media has a tendency to sensationalize (did I say "tendency"? No, the media by its nature and constitution -inherant in its being and operation- exaggerates and therefor mischaracterizes to a small or a large degree). Hence this report most likely does not capture in complete fidelity the important details of this study. Hopefully it sufficiently captures the core message.
Research show men with children are happier than those without
"New research in the journal "Psychological Science" find that overall, "parents (and especially fathers) report relatively higher levels of happiness, positive emotion, and meaning in life than do non-parents."
Of the three studies, the largest sample comes from 6,906 individuals collected between 1982 and 1999. It found that fathers and parents between ages 26 and 62 were happier, but not mothers, young parents and single parents. There were no differences in happiness between moms and women without children, but young parents and single parents were significantly less happy than childless peers,"
Of course the article continues with the usual caveates: "The effect is small, but real," "Others disagree," "Psychologists are perhaps finding different things". So take what you want. Here are the points I find interesting:
1. men with children are happier than men without children (at least at some minimal level of statistical significance).
Reaction: good for men! Look at that, we are not as idiotic and hopeless as we may appear.
2. your meaning in life increases with children.
Reaction: Yes, because life is not about "you". Jesus was right when he said if you want to find your life (i.e. purpose in life) you need to lose it (spend it in the service of others). This is an invaluable lesson to a "me" centered society.
3. young parents and single moms were less happy than childless peers.
Reaction: Is anyone who has small children surprised? No need for a study here. Clearly children are one of the most profound examples of putting in work and sacrificing now for greater rewards later.
4. moms (especially moms without a father in the home to help out) are the hardest working, most underappreciated and therefor exhausted and sapped of all life beings on the planet.
Reactions: thank God (literally) for moms! The perform the most heroic and underappreciated job in the world... and they are exhausted. Difficult to be happy when you are exhausted. But when the children grow up and a child honors their mother by becoming a honorable and contributing member of society there is nothing to rival the satisfaction and happiness of a mother.
What do you take from this study?