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Adam Block Professor Lago ENG-1100 College Writing 26 September 2013 ROUGH DRAFT In Mark Kingwell's "Pursuit of Happiness"

and Jennifer Senior's "Some Dark Thoughts On Happiness", the two writers provide a good juxtaposition on optimistic and pessimistic people. Kingwell, being the optimist, criticizes pessimists such as Nathanial Hawthorne and Ethan Hoffer. Senior, the pessimist, does a great amount of research on the the statistics of happy people in order to maybe figure out why she is a pessimist. While these two writers draw a good juxtaposition between happiness and sadness, I believe that for younger people it's better to find a middle ground between the two.

Sadness can be productive for ourselves because it helps push us to do better in life. For example, if a college student fails a test and they're happy about it, that is not a good thing because he or she is supposed to be upset about failing. That is why extreme happiness can have a negative impact on us because if we're too happy, then there is no motivation for us to be more productive and improve ourselves. However extreme sadness is a bad thing as well because extreme sadness can demotivate us just as much, if not more than extreme happiness. Extreme happiness and sadness can make us feel that we don't have a purpose in life, which leads to higher suicide rates. As Senior pointed out in her writing, "Yet people in the happiest countries are more likely to kill themselves" (Senior426).

In Jennifer Senior's writing she pointed out that old people for the most part are happier than younger people. The reason for this is because older people in their 70s usually have accomplished their purpose in life and are satisfied. Younger people are usually not satisfied because they are trying to reach their goals which can lead to sadness. In Mark Kingwell's essay, he quoted Eric Hoffer in saying "the pursuit of happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness"(Kingwell414).

After taking the "Authentic Happiness Inventory" test I think I found a happy middle ground between happiness and sadness relative to my age. I scored a 3.46 out of 5 compared to Jennifer Senior's 2.88. My score surprisingly was better than 72% of my age group, 71% better than people with my zip code and 76% better than people of my education level. I was satisfied with my score because what it meant to me was that I'm happy, but I know there's a lot to improve on in my lifetime. When I'm older, maybe by the time I'm in my 70s, I think I should be in the 4s because by then I should accomplish what I want to accomplish in life by then.