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Friday, December 05, 2008

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy

The title of this blog comes from French philosopher Marcel Proust who continued on to say of these cheerful friends that "they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." For good companionship I'd pick Proust over his cynical countryman Camus, whom I quoted in my previous blog on happiness on 4/2/07 seen here along with the related one from the day before. My return to the contemplation of happiness was precipitated by my pleasure over recently released research showing that happiness is infectious. Evidently good news travels fast! :)

As reported by Karen Kaplan of the Los Angeles Times, scientists from Harvard and University of California at San Diego tapped into participants of the famous Framingham heart study to assess how happiness spreads. What I found most interesting was the one exception to the general rule that the best way to be happy is to surround yourself with happy people -- it does not work at work. Could that be true? I hope not. But I suppose that's why they call it "work" and not "fun."

PS. The photo of me comes from my recent work/vacation trip in Puerto Rico. The toothy statue is a pre-Columbian figure on display at the Historical Park of the Arecibo Lighthouse. My work was in Ponce for a medical device company that had the happiest employees that I've ever seen. I cannot describe the delight for a cold Minnesotan like me to be welcomed into such a warm environment as was nurtured by this Puerto Rican manufacturer. Perhaps this is the exception that proves the rule of no happiness spreading in the workplace. However, my intention is keep on smiling and being positive as much as I can wherever I am -- it makes me happier, that is for sure.


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