By Thom Hartmann
The Declaration of Independence was the first founding document in the history of the world to specifically mention happiness.
As Thomas Jefferson’s famous words read, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
For hundreds of years, we’ve stood by the idea that through hard work and perseverance, and given the right opportunities, anyone can be happy in America and achieve the American Dream.
But today, the American Dream is on life support, and happiness is more elusive than ever before.
As Arthur C. Brooks points out in The New York Times, according to new research, one of the major variables under our control when it comes to overall happiness is happiness at work.
And a 2012 study by researchers at Stanford University found that being happy is nearly impossible if someone is unemployed, and money aside, unemployment increases the rates of divorce and suicide.
In fact, being employed is so important to Americans that, according to the University of Chicago’s General Social Survey, three-quarters of Americans wouldn’t quit their jobs even if they suddenly had a financial windfall.