"Hell is other people" An often miss-understood quote by Sartre. It is our own approach towards the “other(s)” that is creating hell for us. I have learned this past year that for me it is quite the opposite.
I am reading a book about happiness which contains the findings of a 100 professors all over the world who are studying happiness, its correlation and possible causation with wealth, health, biochemical processes, friendship, culture, education and so on.
My favourite chapter is written by Christopher Peterson, founder of the positive psychology, who only needs 2 words to describe what makes us happy: other people. We need others to share happiness and in sharing we find happiness. He believes that the love and care that parents, family, friends and teachers are giving you, are equally if not more important to the talents you were born with. If you agree with this theory, then also be aware that you are an “other” to the others, let them be important in your life and give them the time and attention to count in yours.
I think that other people give me two things in life which I need to be the best person I can possibly be: passion and compassion. For me it is definitely true: Happiness is the others.
Leen Maes is creating this blog. I became an expat at the beginning of the 21st century, trailing spouse, mother of three, currently living in Leuven, Belgium. Passionate about community building, parenting, education, public speaking, storytelling, arts and crafts, life-long learner.