So far as laws and institutions avail, men should have equality of opportunity for happiness; that is, of education, wealth, power. These make happiness secure. An equal diffusion of happiness so far as laws and institutions avail.
(Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. IV, p. 607, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (October 19, 1890).)
We have lived through the era when happiness was a warm puppy, and the era when happiness was a dry martini, and now we have come to the era when happiness is "knowing what your uterus looks like."
(Nora Ephron (b. 1941), U.S. author and humorist. Crazy Salad, ch. 7 (1972).
On the feminist medical self-help movement. "Happiness is a warm puppy" was an earlier saying, originating with Charles Schulz, Peanuts cartoonist.)
Desire is happiness: satisfaction as happiness is merely the ultimate moment of desire. To be wish and wish alone is happiness, and a new wish over and over again.
(Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 10, p. 211, selection 5, number 209, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Unpublished fragments dating to November 1882February 1883.)
Some of us love to draw balance-sheet on own life; some do it fairly regularly; some, once a while. The appraisal is done mostly by the Index of Happiness. Some find a huge surplus of Happiness in the form of grand mansions they built; some find great deficit in Happiness due to edifices having collapsed. Most of us are not grand builders. We have to have a different yardstick to measure Happiness. It can be measured only in the yardstick of Courage and Truth. If you are strong in these two, you dwell in happiness even without having built grand mansions.
(Prasanna Mishra, born in 1942, is a former civil servant of India. He lives in Bhubaneswar)