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    Kenora Association for Community Living

    Enjoyment: happiness, joy, relief, contentment, bliss, delight, amusement, pride, sensual pleasure, thrill, rapture, gratification, satisfaction, euphoria, whimsey,ecstacy, and at the far edge, mania (Goleman 1995, Page 289)

    Happiness or Joyfulness

    The definitopion of joyfulness is full of joy. The definition of joy is twofold:
    1. great happiness
    2. a person or thing which causes happiness

    In the first sense of the word joyfulness is an emotion. In the second sense the word joyfulness is a virtue.

    When you ask any caring and loving parent what they want for their children you Inevitably get the response in one form or another- I want my child to be happy. We all want to be happy and we all want those nearest and dearest to us to be happy. But what does it mean "to be happy? How to we achieve happiness? At the end of this monograph, I enclose some of the leading reference material on happiness. I will also offer some suggestions from my personal experience

    Early in my current career as Executive Director of the Kenora Association for Community Living (KACL), the Board approved a statement of the Associations as follows:

    The goal of KACL is to ensure that all people with special needs have the opportunity to live a meaningful and satisfying lifestyle and interact as an equal in their community by providing continuing opportunities for personal growth through education, training, support, advocacy and an informed public.

    It took me a couple of years before I connected the parent's desire that their children being happy - with the concept of 'a meaningful and satisfactory lifestyle'. Thereafter, I have spent considerable hours attempting to define happiness. I have come to some definte conclusions and some tentative conclusions about the nature of hapiness and how to achieve it.

    Firstly, I note the distinction between what I call short term happiness or "the ferris wheel" concept of happiness and long-term meaningfulness and satisfaction. Some distinguish 'happiness' from 'true happiness'. When I was young, I was exhilerated by a ride in the ferris wheel - I had a subjective short term feeling or sense of joy. This joy or exhileration never seemed to be as fundamentally as important as the longer terms sense of satisfaction with life or meaningness that I attribute to the KACL mission statement mentioned above

    Secondly, I note that, at least to some degree, happiness is a personality trait. Your level of happiness can not be accounted for solely by what happens to you. You can provide opportunities for happiness and as a result or such opportunies one may have positive or negative moods. However,the level of general happiness seems to be somewhat independently determined.

    Thirdly, I note the importants of relationships in establishing a satisfactory and meaninful lifestyle.

    To be isolated is an enormous tradegy for any human being. Yet we can force someone to love us, to be our friend. We can not claim it as a right. Government can not provide it. Money can not buy it. To be in a relationship comes from some where else. It is part of our deepest nature. It is integral to the history of our specises. Humans require love, respect, belonging, dignity, felllowship, and solidariity to flourish.

    Thus it is to relationships that I look to find happiness

    Adams, Micael (2000)Better Happy Than Rich, Canadians, Money and the Meaning of Life. Toronto: Penguin Books

    Aristotle (1996) The Nicomachean Ethics, Ware, Wordsworth Classics, 1996

    DeBono, Edward (1977) The Happiness Purpose, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books

    Goleman, Daniel (1995) Emotional Intelligence, Why it can Matter more than IQ, New York: Bantam Books

    Griswold, Charles L (1996) happiness, Tranquility and Philosophy in Rouner, Leroy S. and James R Langford (1996) Philosophy, Religion, and Contemporary Life, Notra Dame, Indiana: University of Notra Dame

    Kaufman, Barry Neil (1991) Happiness is a Choice, New York: Fawcett Columbine

    Mccready, Stuart (2001) The Discovery of Happiness, Naperville, Illinois, Sourcebooks Inc

    McMahon, Darrin M. (2006) Happiness, A History, New York: Atlantic Monthly Press

    Nussbaum, Martha C (2001) Upheavals of Thought, The Intelligence of Thought, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

    Ricard, Matthieu (2003,2006) Happiness, a Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill, New York: Little, Brown and Company

    Russell, Bertrand (1958) The Conquest of Happiness, New York: W.W. Norton