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Governor Corbett Speaks about Happiness at Lebanon Valley College
11.29.12 |
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, a 1971 graduate of Lebanon Valley College, spoke at his alma mater Wednesday, Nov. 28 as part of the College’s yearlong Colloquium Series on HAPPINESS. Gov. Corbett specifically discussed “Happiness and How it Relates to Politics and Public Life,” followed by a Q&A session.

Gov. Corbett explained to students that “the first challenge was to define happiness. It’s a universally recognized state of being but it’s almost impossible to come up with a definition that fits everybody.” He added, “…yet more and more of us with every passing year expect the government to provide our happiness…and every passing year offers more and more evidence that the agency least qualified to delight us…is government.”

The Declaration of Independence, which “said we were entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and the impressive foresight of the nation’s founders formed the foundation of his 45-minute talk. Gov. Corbett emphasized the phrase “pursuit of happiness” adding that “government can’t make you happy…happiness takes courage and faith in oneself.”

Gov. Corbett clarified that “happiness is not simply a single instance…happiness is a journey; something we collect as we travel through life…” not “something we experience in the moment, but in the fullness of time.”

After sharing some personal memories of happiness—meeting his future wife, Susan, at LVC, and going to a Pirates baseball game with his father, among others—Gov. Corbett advised the audience that “happiness is where you find it…happiness doesn’t often hunt us down. We go looking for it….but the first step is in appreciating the people and things around us…and the great thing about happiness is that we can begin that journey all over again; at any moment. All you have to do is care enough to try.”

HAPPINESS is a year-long integrated series of guest speakers, roundtable discussions, films and courses that will consider the meaning and importance of happiness as a psychological, physiological, social and cultural phenomenon. It involves presentations by speakers from a number of disciplines who approach the theme from the standpoints of the arts, the wellness of body and mind, the demands of a consumer economy, the expectations and duties of political life, and the broad philosophical questions of human flourishing.

Photo courtesy of Lebanon Daily News

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