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Showing posts from February 3, 2011

Because It's Good. For You.

Over the past couple weeks, several people recommended that I read an article by the writer David Brooks titled “Social Animal: How the New Sciences of Human Nature Can Help Make Sense of a Life.”

As is often the case with articles in The New Yorker, it’s a dense, complicated piece of writing, and as my dad used to say, “I’m not sure I understand everything I know about it,” but I do want to pull out several key quotes this and next week, and encourage you to think about them.

Brooks writes:

There’s a debate in our culture about what really makes us happy, which is summarized by, on the one hand, the book “On the Road” and, on the other, the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The former celebrates the life of freedom and adventure. The latter celebrates roots and connections.

Research over the past thirty years makes it clear that what the inner mind really wants is connection. “It’s a Wonderful Life” was right.

Joining a group that meets just once a month produces the same increase in happine…