The Dialectic of Happiness

Buddha Quote

There is certainly a strong discourse around the Positive Psychology movement.

As the move to take Psychology away from the traditional roots of a focus on the psychopathology of illness, to one of a focus on resilience, character strengths and virtue, strong voices have emerged to challenge what might be considered a limited view of the world promoted by the positive psychology thinkers.

As I set out on my own path to explore the ideas around happiness, I am conscious of the many colleagues that I have in the field of Psychology who are fine upstanding people, and who have no greater focus in their careers than to relieve the suffering of others by using their skills and knowledge in the best way that they know how, essentially doing the best they can with what they have.

Nowhere have I read any declaration from Positive Psychology proponents that the mainstream psychology field is negative or of reduced importance. Clearly there is suffering in the world and that suffering has a place in human development, however one has to make a determination for oneself as to how to approach the world that we live in, and I have chosen to align myself with the Positive Psychology movement. I say this with a recognition that The Happiness Lens is not rose coloured, I do not live in some Pollyanna like world; this would be impossible as I am faced on a regular basis with the after effects of the damage the world and other people can create, but I am making a choice. Self-determination is a significant characteristic in achieving personal growth and happiness, and here I walk the talk.

I do believe that the tools promoted by the PP movement have the capacity to move us forward and assist those of us that need it to have greater well-being. Health after all is more than the absence of illness. But I accept the dialectic, and hope that the synthesis of differing views is a place where we all can be satisfied.

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