David Brook's column in today’s New York Times examines the growing field of positive psychology and the pursuit of happiness. The desire for money to achieve happiness, he says, is disproved time and again, and studies reveal that happiness is not a commodity that can be purchased with an American Express card.
Our government he goes on to say, should pay more attention to what does in fact make us happy – interpersonal relationships and social trust - and not to what can be easily measured and quantified.
This leads me to posit the question: has the government, with all its well-intentioned (albeit ineffective) programs to help struggling homeowners stay in their homes, unwittingly acknowledged that our homes – where meaningful relationships with spouses, children, siblings, parents, neighbors and friends reside -- are a principal source of personal happiness? As a homeowner, do you consider your home a vessel of happiness, or a financial asset, like stocks and bonds?