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The pursuit of happiness


s a society, we seem obsessed with the quest for happiness. Go online or into any bookstore, and you will

find hundreds of quick-fix self-help books dedicated to finding and acquiring happi- ness. Most, but not all, suggest that hap- piness is a particular physical thing. That is, just lose weight or run 10 miles a day or switch to a vegan diet or do hot yoga, and all will be well. Other texts argue for more cerebral endeavors such as meditation or psychoanalysis or biblical studies. Of course, beyond the self-help texts,

the predominant message of our modern consumer society is that happiness is a thing or an experience that can be purchased or possessed. In a consumer society, we are what we possess; and, the more we possess and the quality of our possessions determine both our status in society and our personal level of happiness. And ultimate happiness in a consumer society is “being able to want and get that which we don’t yet have!” After much reflection, I am convinced of

only two things: happiness is a process, and happiness is made up of many different elements. Process: I think Aristotle was right when he said, “Never judge a person happy until they are dead.” For Aristotle, happiness was not an all-or-nothing state of affairs; it’s a continuum, a living event. Happiness has to be judged in the aggregate and not on any individual moment. Money is not the defining factor, but it is a necessary ingredi- ent. So, too, is health, friendship, meaningful work, love, etc. Each one is critical, but each individually may not necessarily be enough. Added to all of this are three vital factors.

One: there is no single “recipe” that works for everyone. Two: happiness only comes to those who know when to be satisfied. Three: an obsession with happiness thwarts the actual achievement of it. The moral to this essay is a modest one: seek happiness, but proceed cautiously!

Sociology and pre-med student Heather Afriyie (left) with student Syuliah Smith in the Damen Center. Heather Afriyie


Why did you choose Loyola? • I wanted to attend a university that was centered on building and fostering community, and I knew Loyola was that place. I also love this beautiful campus!

What accomplishment are you most proud of? • I am most proud of my recent Emergency Medical Technician Licensure and Certification. I took the class at Loyola and received course credit. Loyola provides great opportunities like this for its students.

What does this scholarship mean to you? • Knowing there are people out there in the world who would support my college education is beautiful. Not all students need financial assistance, but for the ones that do, a scholarship like this means the world.

Since July 2010, with the help of thousands of gener- ous donors, Loyola has established 175 new scholarship endowments and achieved $63.8 mil- lion toward the $80 million goal of Ac- cess to Excellence: The Campaign for Scholarships.

MAKE A GIFT scholarship campaign


Sr. Gannon turns 100 Former president of Mundelein College and lifelong educator,

Ann Ida Gannon, BVM

Ann Ida Gannon, BVM, turned 100 this year. Sr. Gannon’s introduc- tion to Mundelein College was in 1928, when she attended Immacu- lata High School in Chicago’s Buena Park neighborhood. As a clari- net player, Sr. Gannon volunteered to play in the Mundelein band to help welcome Cardinal Mundelein at the building’s dedication. Soon after, she received a scholarship to Mundelein College but decided


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