My Cultural Conception Of Happiness

1296 WordsOct 29, 20156 Pages
The honorable Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso once said, “When I meet people from different cultures I know that they too want happiness and do not want suffering . . .” That being said, people from different cultures want to be happy. The only thing that differs between cultures is how each distinct culture perceives how happiness can be achieved. Such is true for the conception of happiness between my culture, the American culture, and the Indian culture. While the conception of happiness across my culture and the conception of happiness across Indian culture are both individualistic, the conception of happiness in Indian culture is also collectivist. In addition, both cultural conceptions of happiness have norms that govern their societies in…show more content…
Both bodies have differing views of happiness, but they still uphold the their individuality. Likewise, I too am able to embrace my personal perception of happiness because my society is one that embraces individualism. It can be said that my culture thoroughly embraces Aristotle 's definition of happiness due to the fact that it preaches the importance of every individual being the sole passenger and conductor when it come to riding the train that is the pursuit of happiness. In other words, the pursuit of happiness is in the hands of the individual. No matter how one believes they can achieve happiness in my culture, the fact remains that it is widely recognized that happiness is based on an individual’s actions and viewpoints. In contrast, the conception of happiness in Indian culture is a combination of both individualist and collectivist viewpoints. From the individualistic viewpoint of happiness in Indian culture, an individual has the power to pursue their own happiness and do whatever they deem conducive to their well-being. According to Kumar (2003), it is believed in Indian culture that “man should do whatever is possible to enhance pleasure and avoid pain . . . one could beg, borrow or steal or even murder . . .” (p. 2). In simple terms, one should do whatever is in their power to achieve ultimate happiness. This is an individualistic viewpoint because the Indian culture trusts an individual to make decisions that will benefit them. In a
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