So what is Happiness? Just for kids

Kid News

October 15, 1998|By Amanda Vogt | Amanda Vogt,Chicago Tribune

Happiness is so important to Americans that the right to pursue it is guaranteed in our Declaration of Independence.

So what is this happiness thing, anyway?

"Happiness has to do with things that can't be touched or measured," says Geri Piorkowski, director of the counseling center at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Like friendship? Absolutely, says Jeri B., 14, who says happiness is "friends who love you enough to cancel their plans for the evening (to) stay and comfort you" when you're down. How about achieving shared goals?

You bet, says Lawrence J., 15, of Wheaton, Ill. "Happiness is doing something you love, like building a treehouse or playing baseball, with a bunch of people who love to do it too."

Counseling director Piorkowski says, "The people who are the most successful at finding happiness tend to be those who keep their lives simple."

So how do you do that?

Figure out what you want out of life and go for it, she says. If you know what you want, someone else's ideas about success, happiness or popularity won't matter.

To help achieve this, Norman Bradburn, professor of psychology at the University of Chicago, suggests "getting out and seeing the world, meeting new people and living new experiences."

1997 Chicago Tribune. Distributed by Knight-Ridder/Tribune, Inc.

Pub Date: 10/15/98

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