“The War on Unhappiness” (Harper’s Magazine/PDF)

This is Lucky Otter’s Haven!

Lucky Otters Haven

Meme with a victim-blaming (gaslighting) sentiment typical of the “war on unhappiness” movement.

Following is a PDF file of an excellent (and long) article from the September 2010 issue of Harper’s Magazine tracing the rise of the positive thinking movement, and how it’s been taken to ridiculous and heartbreaking extremes, leading to the victim-blaming mentality and society-wide narcissism so pervasive today.   This attitude that we can all be our own gods and have everything we want if we’re just “happy enough” even infiltrates its way into churches, where “Christian” preachers like Joel Osteen are basically telling their flocks that if they only plaster on a winning smile and just be happy all the time, all their problems will evaporate.

Just like magic!  Magical thinking saves the day!


Besides being a blatant lie (your problems are NOT just going to go away, but you might be able to delude yourself they…

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3 thoughts on ““The War on Unhappiness” (Harper’s Magazine/PDF)

  1. The Harper’s article was, indeed, quite long but it was interesting! And the idea that we can think ourselves happy is, in my opinion, an insidious way for people to look the other way. After all, if illness, financial hardship, or job loss are our fault they can simply cluck their tongues at our ineptitude and move on.
    There is, to a degree, responsibility to maintain our own happiness, even in difficult circumstances but I believe we’re allowed (or should be) to feel grief over things. I don’t mean we should wallow in misery but if we don’t feel bad when things are really awful it makes me wonder if we’re just not bright enough to recognize our troubles.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am glad to read in your comment your statement that we are responsible to maintain our own happiness. I think this is important for some people to understand. I personally believe in the power of positive thinking. I have endured many financial set-backs, being diagnosed with MS, shutting down my business. I don’t think any of the things that happen in our lives has to be blamed on anything except life happens. And it is up to us to maintain dignity and happiness. imho

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly. People thought I was nuts when I got my spinal cord injury and I’d say “It could be worse. It could be burns.” I think they felt I should be terribly depressed and angry. But I still had a fabulous family and look at me now! I can walk! Sure, we get down over things. We’re human. But overall I think you have to just take joy in the things we have.

        Liked by 1 person

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