In The Promise of Happiness, Sarah Ahmed talks a lot about how society has set up happiness as a trope and a goal, a thing that comes along with the attainment of capital and status. She points out that this conception of happiness really just sets people up for disappointment, as their gains in money, power, or status do not necessarily correlate to increased happiness. She reminds the readers that true happiness is found in moments and experiences, not in objects. It reminded me of a country song in which the singer proclaims that he knows money can't buy happiness, but "it can buy me a boat." It is clear from the lyrics that the singer does not equate owning the boat with happiness, but that he knows spending time on a boat is something that makes him happy.
All of this reflecting on happiness mde me think of my field placement. Often, the students will get into arguments, convinced that they need a certain toy or role in sociodramatic play to be happy. However, they ultimately end up unhappy, because they spend their day arguing with one another over rather than finding a way to enjoy their surroundings. I will be thinking about finding ways to suggest a less object-dominant approach to happiness in the class.