There's More To Life Than Being Happy Analysis

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Summary and Reaction to ‘There’s More to Life Than Being Happy’
Emily Esfahani Smith’s article ‘There’s More to Life Than Being Happy’ (The Atlantic: June 2013) discusses the ideas in a book written by Viktor Frankl, a prominent Jewish psychiatrist and neurologist who was a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp. In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl concludes that camp prisoners who had found meaning in their life were more satisfied and therefore more likely to survive. Those that had merely been happy in life found it harder to keep a good morale and were less likely to survive. Smith goes on to cite many different sources that give statistics as to how more and more Americans are finding happiness in their lives, but no true meaning.
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All around us, there are billboards, commercials, and magazine advertisements showing us people who are happy because of a product or lifestyle choice. According to the American Marketing Association, the average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 advertisements per day. These are advertisements for clothes, technology, businesses, etc. that attempt to get us to do one thing: spend money. It is ingrained into our minds that we should strive to find happiness in all we do; however, this happiness must be bought. In today’s materialistic world, we are told that possessions and wealth will bring us meaning when in actuality they only bring temporary satisfaction and leave us craving more. We are so caught up in satisfying our own needs and wants that we rarely take time to look around us at the needs of others. Even when we do see others suffering, many of us are too busy to help or makeup excuses as to why we can’t aid them in their time of need. We look up to celebrities like Paris Hilton and 50 Cent who lead lavish, wasteful, and selfish lifestyles and often aspire to be like them. Many of these stars give little money to charity, and if they do it’s not publicized. Our society as a whole has shifted away from reaching out to others and toward meeting personal needs, which explains why so many …show more content…
For example, my grandfather had diabetes his whole life, making it hard for him to go to work and provide for his family. When my father was young, he would have to put in numerous hours of work to be able to help pay for his father’s medical bills and to support his family. As he got older, his father’s kidney began to fail and he needed a donor. My grandmother was a match, so for the duration of the transplant and sometime after, my father had to care for both his parents. Upon graduating high school my father moved away from home and got his college degree, all the while working and saving up money to send to his parents. After receiving his diploma, my father made the choice to turn down a high paying job near his university in order to move back home and work in the same factory as his father. My father worked there every day until my grandfather died, watching over him and helping him whenever needed. The choice my father made to move back home and work in a dingy factory to help his father was selfless. While the higher paying job would have made my father happier and allowed him to buy nicer things, he turned it down to selflessly be by my grandfather’s side. Through his sacrifice, my father found a meaning and purpose in life that he would never have found had he taken the other

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