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Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Would the things that make you happy make others happy?

Asked by Simone_De_Beauvoir (38922points) August 12th, 2009

I’m inspired by Compassionate_heretic’s q about wealth and fame…many of us answered that we don’t need either ‘as long as we’re happy’ consider what would make you happy….would the things that make you happy make others happy…

Sometimes, when considering my ideas and what I envision for the world, I really don’t think many share those ideas…in general…and something else would make them happy instead…

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38 Answers

benjaminlevi's avatar

I can’t imagine unicorns would make Dick Cheney happy…

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Thanks Simone.

I don’t assume all but I think what makes me happy probably makes a lot of other people happy too.

InspecterJones's avatar

Beer, Sex, Food, Sleep.

Yes, they will make others happy.

benjaminlevi's avatar

Simone, I’m pretty sure your idea and how you envision the world would make me happy.
@InspecterJones Those would make me happy too!

sdeutsch's avatar

I don’t need much to be happy – as long as I have friends and family around me, I’m pretty content. I imagine that’s probably enough to make a lot of people happy, but I know for some people it wouldn’t be enough…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@benjaminlevi yes but you and I believe in unicorns

Grisaille's avatar

The thing that makes me most happy right now (aside from sex) is playing guitar.

Yeah, I’d think that that makes people happy. Music, that is.

casheroo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I’d like to know what you envision, it’d help me answer if I’d be happy in your world or not :)

I don’t think what makes me happy would make everyone happy. I’m more simple than others.

PerryDolia's avatar

There are two levels of answers for this question.

On the general level, much of what makes me happy probably makes others happy, too. Friends and family, being respected, watching the generosity of people to one another, a beautiful sunset.

On the more personal level, those things that make me happy are specific to me and are shared by few others: getting my guitar in perfect tune, tweaking the settings on my computer, finding a new stock market algorithm.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@casheroo oh you know the usual: a world without gender norms, sexuality or race labels – a world of small communities practicing socialism and where religion is a private matter, not a dividing force

IBERnineD's avatar

Cupcakes, Giant Squids, hearing the perfect song, free food, my favorite people, and hugs.
What could be better??

Dog's avatar

Some of the things that make me happy also make others happy. Like our kids and my Family.

Other things that make me happy do not necessarily make others happy- like spending time isolated in my studio painting. Painting is like a happy drug to me but it rarely has that effect on others aside of a scattered few fellow artists.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@IBERnineD…all that plus Nutella and sex and you’re mine

dannyc's avatar

Even if what makes another person happy is not your cup of tea. you can respect their earnest desire to embrace it, thus you would be happy for them, at least. The reciprocal feeling, one would hope, could exist. That would be the problem with the hypothesis, though, as that would be out of your control, so the only logical answer is no.

Facade's avatar

The normal “good things” would I suppose.
Other things like, not having children, being put together, having a relationship with God may not.

ratboy's avatar

Only the misery of others brings me happiness.

tinyfaery's avatar

From what I’ve read on fluther, not everyone. That’s for sure.

IBERnineD's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir haha I love Nutella! I even have a cupcake recipe with Nutella icing, and sex? Duh.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I rather doubt that raising Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches is going to make any of the ladies on here happy. The flowers I grow in my yard probably would though. I am a simple man with simple down-to-earth tastes. Most guys would find my life boring, and since I don’t follow sports, they’d also find it dull.

I’m sure they’d kill to have my sexual knowledge, though. =)

cak's avatar

Doubtful. It would make some happy, but not all. When it comes down to it, I like a very simple existence and stick with my family. My happiest days are at home, with my family. Just being, you know? Not enough for some, I guess.

Bluefreedom's avatar

It’s entirely possible but certainly not guaranteed.

sakura's avatar

One mans happiness is another mans downfall…

whitenoise's avatar

Interesting question. I don’t know. But in one respect they certainly would.

I noticed that I always feel much happier when I am with the people that I care about, especially when they are happy. Having my family around me, for instance,in a cheerful mood, cannot but lift my spirits. So in that sense I can definitely confirm that things make me happy when they make other people happy.

augustlan's avatar

I know for sure that many things that make me happy are not shared by others. #1 on that list? Smoking. I also like to be alone, love the quiet, and enjoy reading. A lot. All of those things were emphatically not shared by my first husband, and caused a lot of stress in our relationship.

Other things, of course, are more universal. #1 on that list? Being loved.

nebule's avatar

gorgonzola sauce over steak with baby vegetables and a bottle of pinotage is sure to make anyone happy…isn’t it??

whatthefluther's avatar

Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll with the one you love….I think a few may share those sentiments. Peace….Gary aka wtf

dpworkin's avatar

I believe that they do. They are (in a very reductive sense) Love and Work.

JLeslie's avatar

@augustlan smoking makes my aunt happy too. She has no desire to quit.

I guess the things that make me happy make others happy too? I think we all want to be loved (as augustlan said) and to be heard/acknowledged. Being happy is defined so differently by different people I have found. Many people I know think of happy as being elated, or full of joy. Happiness for me is more of a contentedness, lack of pain, security, and personal freedom.

ShanEnri's avatar

If we’re talking materialistic, then yes books make many others happy too. If we’re talking dreams, maybe a few others, which is to be the first to explore an alien planet. My vision for the world might make women happy, since I think the world would be better run by women!

CMaz's avatar

I would say for the most part yes.

But in general, that would make for a boring world.

filmfann's avatar

If the things that make me happy made other people happy, groinless animal costumes would be cheaper, and easier to find.

FB's avatar

This particular question happened to take me here:


There are many fleeting windows of opportunity in a day, a week, or an entire life. Searching for a connection within each one, as they randomly snap open and shut so quickly, is a challenging endeavor.

But, you have to believe; you need to believe, if you indeed seek to explore the possibilities of windows.

When I am doing the thing I love the most – anonymously busking on a busy street corner – I feel incredibly happy. The unpredictable elements of nature mixed with the swirl of machines. The stream of people speeding by, intently pursuing something that has nothing to do with me. Yet it all beautifully engulfs the shores of my modest little asphalt stage. I am just there. Playing. I am happy, as everything passes by me.

I imagine that people are off to find their own happiness through some elusive window of opportunity awaiting them elsewhere later in the day, or week, or at some point yet to be realized somewhere within their life. Often I am nothing more than another annoying person assaulting their private quest for a personal goal, but sometimes, unexpectedly, some choose to make a connection with me.

A window opens; my window, and I receive a smile, a nod, a hum, a flutter of applause or perhaps a shimmering rainspout of loose change, pouring gracefully out of a hand as it composes a ringing symphony inside my open cap on the pavement below.


And if someone does any of the above, with everything else they must process during their day, their week, or their entire life, well, then I truly want to believe, I need to believe, they are letting me know I have made them happy.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Would they? I don’t have to wonder because for a long time now, they have and do even though they’re nothing I’ve invented or thought up on my own. There very little of that out there, really.

nebule's avatar

@FB you are a true poet

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i think everyone should be free to do what they like so long as it does not harm people. but of course, then you have the people who want to control everyone’s lives because they’re busybodies. so they wouldn’t be happy. they’d just have their panties in a bunch about other people being happy, like some people do now.

lostinyoureyes's avatar

I’m happy if I can love myself and others.

Zen_Again's avatar

@InspecterJones Summed it up nicely for me too.

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