Yesterday was my first day of class. And I had that professor. The one that laughs when you walk in the room and tells you that his class will be the hardest one you will have ever taken. I guess I’ll find out when December comes around and I get that final grade. I’m hoping Christmas will cancel out any potential negative effects…
Even so, I found his lecture extremely compelling. Sociology, as he says, is the study of how humans are affected by society and in turn, how we as humans affect society. We are all interconnected. Professor Zeitlin made an impact yesterday by challenging our generation to take a stand for the problems that are endlessly occurring internationally and on the home front. When does a personal problem become a public issue and when do we, as citizens, make an active choice to change what we know as wrong?
We learned about the many personal problems of soldiers who come home after war. I was shocked to learn that many of these soldiers, often within days of their return home, are very violent and have trouble controlling the stress that was inflicted during battle. 1 in 6 becomes aggressive, abusive, or even murderous with people that they usually know, such as a wife, child, or sibling. They are many times more likely to become felons and commit violent crimes. How was I so unaware? All of these personal problems that these soldiers and their families are experiencing can only become public issues until our communities choose education and acknowledgement.
Without doubt, the same applies to happiness. When does one’s personal problem become a public issue? When are enough people unhappy that we notice we need to do something to make a change? Happiness is an all encompassing issue and I doubt that it can ever be directly affected. Happiness is a side effect in our lives; it is affected by the relationships that we have with our family and friends, by our success in the workplace or as a student, and by our general demeanor. But nonetheless, happiness is a public issue that everyone can make an effort to improve by beginning on a personal level.
What can you do to improve your happiness on a personal level?