Friendship is not an obsolete sentiment. It is as true now as in Aristotle's time that no one would care to live without friends, though he had all other good things. It is still necessary to our life in its largest sense.
HUGH B. BLACK, Friendship
The duty of happiness becomes clearer when we see how it affects others. It is the merry heart that makes the cheerful countenance, and it is the cheerful countenance that spreads cheer to make other hearts merry. The sunny soul brings sunshine everywhere. A bright and happy temperament is a great social asset, adding to the happiness of the world.
If happiness is a state of the inward life, we have to look for its chief obstructions not in outward conditions but in deeper places. Happiness depends in the last issue, as we saw, on the essential view of life. It is not a matter of distractions, nor even of mere pleasurable sensations. There may be an appearance of great prosperity with incurable sadness hidden at the heart, as there is an outward peace which is only a well-masked despair. The way to happiness is indeed harder than the way to success; for its chief enemies entrench themselves within the soul.
There are many teachers who assert positions, which logically lead to pessimism. Some declare that happiness is a will-o-the-wisp ever deluding the eager grasp, and it is better not to attempt the impossible. Others see life lived under a leaden sky and on a sodden earth. They agree that to some, and under some conditions, happiness of a kind would be possible, but it is so rare a chance that it is not worth counting on ourselves becoming the fortunate exceptions. There is not enough happiness to go round. Others assert that the sure way to lose happiness is to seek it. If you aim at it at all, it must be indirectly. You may have it at the back of your mind, but you must not have your eye on it. Still another objection to the pursuit of happiness is that it is selfish. Yet everybody would admit that a world of happy human beings is an ideal worth while. How is this even to begin to be possible, if nobody is ever to try to be happy himself?
It may be obvious that this world has not been made merely for the ease and happiness of men, and obvious that we are not made to inhabit an earthly paradise, but the human heart can never cease to long for satisfaction of desire. This primal need has been the driving power to transform society and to improve the conditions of life. Even when men miss happiness as an experience, they feel they were made for it. The capacity for joy, which is their natural human instinct, demands fruition. To ask them to abandon the quest for happiness and to acknowledge it a phantom would be to make a mock of life.
At the heart of happiness lies peace. It is the last and the highest attainment of the soul.