I was asked by a friend of mine to locate some quotations on happiness, that she could use for a lecture that she was giving to her class mates in a cookery class.

As usual, I was flippant and asked her whether the quotations should be on happiness directly related to food and cooking it or eating it. She was offended and suggested that I join her class too, to see what kind of people come there, and what things other than cooking get discussed there. On probing, I found that the cooking class was more of an excuse to provide a forum where some people could come together and spend some time and learn a few things about anything. More time was spent on matters other than learning to cook! Some kind of an informal social club.

Being the blogger that I am, I suggested that she should talk something about social network sites in her lecture. She agreed to and said that she would indeed include it as a source that apparently makes a lot of people very happy.

Any way, after much search, I provided three quotations for her, which are given below. She was quite satisfied with the choice.

“Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will set down quietly, may alight upon you.” Nathaniel Hawthorne

“All men seek happiness. They do not know exactly what is meant by happiness, but they desire it just the same.” James T. Mangan.

“If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we would have paradise in a few years.” Bertrand Russell

Just before she left, she asked me to give her my own definition of happiness. I said “Not being unhappy”. She laughed and bid me good day and left.

What is your favourite definition, or have you coined your own?