Sunday, 27 April 2014

changming yuan: towards happiness -7

education, which is a life-long process, offers people another fundamental approach to happiness. as a secular one, this approach  can be divided into three major aspects: family teaching, formal schooling, and social influence.

quite ironically, as in the case of religion, education is an indirect, undeclared and often unconscious approach to happiness, although well-developed in practice.

within the family, few parents, and certainly fewer other adult family members, would teach their children what happiness is or how they should/could obtain it. in most cases, parents may not be happy themselves, nor do they know the true meaning of happiness, let alone the effective ways to get it.

in school, from the kindergarten to the graduate faculty, there are few courses designed to deal with the subject of happiness, with the exception of harvard university and a few others perhaps in recent years. what all students have been trying to learn or study at school all time in history may include academic knowledge, special skills or anything else that can prepare them for career developments after they graduate from school, but for all school educators, the subject of happiness has been none of their business. apparently, this is one of the biggest failures or negligences of formal schooling.

social influence can sometimes be overwhelming, especially in the case of the psychological effects of the media and the internet on children and young adults during their forming years. although there may be reports, stories, discussions and demonstrations concerning the topic of happiness, such influences are casual, fragmentary and indirect.

so, whether you are a religious practitioner or not, you have very few opportunities to learn directly and systematically about happiness.


in every high school, there should be some course content dealing with the subject of 'happiness'. or, in canada, for instance, there should be a 'happiness' section in 'social studies' from grade 8 to 11.

it is a huge irony that although all people were born to be happy, and hope to live a happy life, they get neither knowledge nor training from any educational institution as a rule! 

more unthinkable is that this situation has never been improved since the beginning of human civilization!

why have both religion and education failed to directly and systematically encourage people to understand the true meaning of happiness and find the practical ways to attain it?

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