How Happy Are You

This question was on Somerville, Massachusetts city cenus taken this spring. Part of it asked if the residents were happy on the direction of their town. Other questions were more personal.

How could anyone answer such a questions? I have as many moments (briefly) of happiness as there are for Inuit’s description of snow.

I am happy when the sun shines as that doesn’t happen too often in Vermont.
I am happy when I see happiness in others.
I am happy when I hear a good story or read a book.
I am happy when a good photograph or painting make my eyes dilate.
I am happy when I am with my children.
I am happy when I am hiking, skiing down a slope, or fishing a trout stream.
I am happy when I see love and when it overcomes me.
I am happy flying a kite, or waltzing, even by myself.
I am happy being alone, thinking.
I am happy to be alive.

And then….
I am not happy at the high tax burden Vermonters suffer.
I am not happy that banks do not want to extend loans to the self – employed.
I am not happy that the annual compensations to 200 of our corporate CEO’s is $9 million a year yet many of us cannot afford to give our families adequate shelter or food.
I am not happy with the political bickering and ineptness of Congress and
the politicization of the Supreme Court.
I am not happy with the high cost of heating fuel and gasoline.
I am not happy with the gentrification of Vermont.
I am not happy with sprawl
I am not happy to see farm pastures and mowings converted into housing lots or developments.
I am not happy that young Vermonters find it difficult to afford a home or
rent an apartment due to the disparity between income and housing costs.
I am not happy because that is also true for older Vermonters.

I am very happy when I don’t think of being unhappy.

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