We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As I have often said, there is no useful general definition of happiness. Unhappiness and misery are much more easily defined.
Do all people need a sense of mission or purpose to be "happy" - other than the basic mission of survival and comfort? I very much doubt it. The wonderful psychiatrist Victor Frankl was indeed sustained by his search for meaning in the camps, but that is far from ordinary life and he was far from an ordinary man.
For me, contentment is a good, loyal husband, a good love life, good work, enjoyable if sometimes difficult kids, good friends and good acquaintances, exciting hobbies and sports, integrity and a clean conscience, a dog, a relationship with God, and books to read. Changing the world is a fool's errand for crazy people and narcissists who do not want to focus on the substance of their own brief lives. Can't do without them, though. Part of the fabric.
Happiness is like those rare knocked-out gorgeous weather days. For me, at my latitude and attitude, they're around October for the most part, and the select days never number more than probably around a dozen in a year.
Sometimes, rarely, these champagne days will string together two, three, four, five days running -and then bang, they could pile up on each other and last until the next wet hurricane hits the coast a few hundred mile south.
But i digress. So someday round the third day of Glory, glory is already relatively long in the tooth considering its usual stay is just the day or two of calm dry robin-egg-blue air behind a blue norther. But you're still extra zesty, you're still feeling like Apollo, but he is taking note that the thin topsoil of Olympus is quickly getting pretty dang dry. The heavenly weather is becoming less Joy ton the World and more a high pressure dome occluding all popup moisture fronts, and if El Nino forces the Canadian jet stream another damn few mile south the dome may nail itself to the ground and become a year-long --or more -- catastrophic drought.
The Lilies of the Field toil not --because they never have time (apologies to Matthew and Luke).
That's the ground William Styron plowed in the impossible-for-good-endingsSophie's Choice. He look at Solomon's Judgement and wondered if anything worse of a choice could possibly be presented. He decided to have Sophie consent to Solomon, because --she had two babies, not the one. So she was able to live on for the survivor child. But you probably know how it turned out --she never had a choice, she was doomed by the question.
PS, should add, Frankl was spared knowledge his wife had died --she was in another camp, and the isolation was deliberately total. He learned the news after the war was over and the system survivors emerged from the camps. So he was hit hard at the same time from opposite directions --and thus, didn't fall.