Ah, the happiness question! I had a friend who recently got romantically involved with his MARRIED old high school girlfriend and justified it by saying, “She was not HAPPY in her marriage.” I told him that all marriages have some degree of unhappiness and that is not a standard for morality. Even in our government we have a right to PURSUE happiness, the implication being to me that that the pursuit or search for happiness is common to all people; the finding of happiness is elusive.
My favorite quote is: “I am often contented, occasionally happy, and rarely satisfied.” Whether I am rich or poor, married, or unmarried, successful or not, childless or not, that principle would remain true. These polls and studies ask questions in very leading ways and are not really good indicators of any true value. If a group of people were miserable but were creating a beautiful garden, could their contribution be of less value than the contribution of a bunch of happy folks creating an awful garden?
Can we ask the questions: Is happiness something you can honestly gauge about yourself ? and Is happiness something to be valued highly?
Or best to ask, what is true happiness?