No matter how dull, or how mean, or how wise a man is, he feels that happiness is his indisputable right

peaceful field

A few seek happiness in the search for knowledge

Could we choose our environment, and were desire in human undertakings synonymous with endowment, all men would, I suppose, be optimists. Certainly most of us regard happiness as the proper end of all earthly enterprise. The will to be happy animates alike the philosopher, the prince and the chimney-sweep. No matter how dull, or how mean, or how wise a man is, he feels that happiness is his indisputable right.

It is curious to observe what different ideals of happiness people cherish, and in what singular places they look for this well-spring of their life. Many look for it in the hoarding of riches, some in the pride of power, and others in the achievements if art and literature; a few seek it in the exploration of their own minds, or in search for knowledge.

by Helen Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968)
from her essay Optimism
Part I: Optimism Within
image – Dare*2*Dream

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4 Responses to “No matter how dull, or how mean, or how wise a man is, he feels that happiness is his indisputable right”

  1. ourladybeth Says:

    Happiness. The ultimate game of hide-and-seek.

    PS – I *adore* that picture with this post. It’s perfect.

  2. E. A. Able Says:

    Thanks! This was a hard one.

  3. Juanita Says:

    Allan K. Chalmers:
    “The Grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”

  4. clarissa mcfairy Says:

    What Helen Keller wrote is very true. Just an afterthought, about chimney sweeps. I am sure some have been wiser than some philosophers, and that some princes have been duller and meaner than some chimney sweeps. Not that she signified anything to the contrary, but it got me thinking along the lines of Thomas Gray’s ‘Elegy written in a Country Churchyard’.

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