Betsy Hart, a nationally syndicated opinion columnist, spoke at Pikk's Tavern for a pre-Mother's Day Dinner. She was contacted by Business Women United Network co-founders Angela Crossin and Amy Petri to share her experiences and knowledge with the women of Valpo.
Her entire presentation was on happiness, suggesting that "... when we focus on and idolize feelings of circumstantial happiness as our culture encourages us to do, I don't think we're asking for too much. I think we may be settling for too little." She said that circumstantial happiness shouldn't be the end goal, but a by-product of the pursuit of purpose and real joy.
Given the state of America, as far as freedom and entertainment are concerned, we have more access to circumstantial happiness than ever before, yet, "Five times as many high school and college students are experiencing anxiety and other mental health issues as similarly-aged youth during the depression."
With a sense of entitlement abounding in the youth of today, it's no surprise that, "Our western culture suggests that happiness has become some sort of a right. As if someone else's unhappiness creates a moral responsibility in us to fix it."
She encouraged the women to work hard for purpose rather than focusing on feeling good now. In the end, if your happiness is conditional to your circumstances, then when your conditions or circumstances change, your happiness disappears. However, if you remain focused on an end goal of true fulfillment, then your emotions and actions are connected to that goal.