Every parent just wants his or her child to be “happy”. That is their bottom line. Therapy, academics, home life, whatever, “just makes my child happy”. Anyone who has worked with children for any length of time has had this said to them repeatedly over and over again.
It is really not their fault. Ingrained in the American psyche and in our Declaration of Independence is the “right to pursue happiness”. But their definition was not about stars, stickers, yellow smiley faces and such. Jeffersonian interpretation of “happiness” had more to do with virtue, doing well within your community, good conduct and good citizenship. (Jon Meacham, Jefferson: Profile in Power)
Aristotle had it even more precise, and perhaps he might be called (stretching it a bit) the author of the foundations for the rationale of occupational therapy. Aristotle wrote, “happiness…is at the end of action”. Read the rest of this entry →