#220: Happiness Makes Us Miserable
Happy Thanksgiving, loyal readers, and thank you for taking a break from the cornucopia (aka “horn of plenty”) and opening this week’s abbreviated issue of The Highlighter.
Today the newsletter features two great articles and two exciting announcements. You might think the start of the holiday season would spur me to include more joyous, uplifting articles. Not yet! Instead, you get pieces on the ruse of happiness and the rise of homelessness. They might not be cheery, but they’re worth your reading time (especially the second one).
Good thing I have two pieces of good news:
+ You’re invited to Highlighter Happy Hour #12 on Thursday, Dec. 5, beginning at 5:30 pm, at Room 389 in Oakland. So far, 23 loyal readers have secured their tickets. Get yours now!
+ I’m launching The Highlighter Article Club! If you want to read more in 2020, and you want to read more closely, and push your thinking and build your empathy, and connect with other thoughtful readers who want to do the same, you should join! We’ll focus on one article a month beginning in January. Here’s more information if you’re interested.
Being happy is in, and being anything else is out. In our era of positive psychology, if you’re not happy, that just means you’re not working hard enough to pursue peak experiences and curate your Instagram feed. This article explains how the definition of happiness has changed over the years, leading us to feel anxious and depressed for experiencing the normal range of human emotions. Sadness, after all, is only negative if we think it is. (13 min)
Loyal readers Dan and Jessica are living their very best lives — with help from The Highlighter, of course. Join them as they enjoy a beautiful weekend day on the San Francisco Bay. Thank you for this wonderful video, Dan and Jessica! If you’d like to share how The Highlighter improves your life, by all means, please do.
Candido and Brenda live with their three children in a van parked outside the Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, California, an abundant agricultural area 100 miles south of San Francisco. Though they work full time, Candido and Brenda can’t find affordable housing in a town where rents have skyrocketed 60% over the past five years. Salinas Valley, where Cesar Chavez organized farm workers, is now more expensive than Chicago or Miami, and 8,000 children are homeless, more than San Francisco and San Jose combined. (23 min)
+ Reader Annotations: Loyal reader Genna appreciated “Spaces Without White People” and shared the following:
The lead article about people of color needing their own spaces and why was the first article, in a while, that I immediately opened and started reading. I feel the work I’m doing in the UNtraining really helps me understand the writer more. Your collection of articles is incredibly thought provoking and heart opening. Thank you for sharing with the world!
And thank you, Genna! I’m happy you liked last week’s lead article. Loyal readers, if you have something to say, say it! I’d love to hear from you. Hit reply or record your voice.
OK, that’s enough reading for now. It’s time to get back to eating. Did you like today’s issue? Vote your conscience using the thumbs below. Also, please welcome this week’s 4 new subscribers: Aparna, Brad, Sub, and Chelsea. I hope that you find the newsletter a welcome addition to your Thursday email inbox.
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