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Concepts of happiness 幸福的概念

幸福是什么?研究认为,在西方文化中,个人的愉悦感是公认的幸福定义。而在东亚文化中,人们倾向于将社会和谐视为幸福。在非洲和印度的一些地区,幸福感更多地与共享体验和家庭相连接。本集内容讨论人们对幸福的追求,以及人们可以在何处找到幸福。

Vocabulary:  human characteristics 词汇: 人类特性

How are you feeling today? Our emotions can vary considerably depending on many factors, including our health, wealth, relationships and where we live. But sometimes we need to take a step back and think about what happiness really means and how we can find it.

Maybe we should take a leaf out of Finland's book – last year the UN's World Happiness Report found the country to be the happiest place on Earth. The report looked at 'subjective well-being'. That's how happy people feel they are and why - based on factors such as, economic strength, social support, life expectancy, freedom of choice, generosity, and perceived corruption.

This is just one way of measuring happiness. Research has also suggested that while personal feelings of pleasure are the accepted definition of happiness in Western cultures, East Asian cultures tend to see happiness as social harmony, and in some parts of Africa and India it's more about shared experiences and family.

Author and journalist Helen Russell has been looking at the positive characteristics of a country's population to see what makes them happy and found Japan to be one of the most content. She told the BBC that this was due to their concept of wabi-sabi – "this traditional Japanese concept around celebrating imperfection… it's this idea that there is a beauty in ageing, it's to be celebrated rather than trying to disguise it." So, basically, we should be happy with who we are and rejoice in our faults and individuality. That's something to put a smile on our faces!

But if you're feeling down in the dumps because your home country doesn't have a happiness concept to follow, consider some self-help ideas that the BBC programme Hacking Happiness has been looking into. These include being virtuous, finding something to be passionate about, enjoying the here and now and being altruistic – helping others.

However, our pursuit of happiness could make us miserable as we try to meet society’s expectations and goals, making us anxious and stressed. Also, having too little experience of negative emotions can make us less adept at facing new challenges. 

词汇表

take a leaf out of someone's book 效仿(某人/物),向…学习
well-being 幸福
generosity 慷慨,宽宏大量
pleasure 欢乐
social harmony 社会和谐
content 满足的
concept 观念
imperfection 缺点,弱点
ageing 变老,衰老
fault 弱点,缺点
individuality 个人特征,特质
down in the dumps 情绪低落,郁闷、不高兴
virtuous 品德高尚的
to be passionate about 对…喜爱的、充满激情的
altruistic 利他的
miserable 痛苦的
anxious 焦虑的,不安的
adept 游刃有余的

测验与练习

1.  阅读课文并回答问题。

1. Which organisation found Finland to be the happiest country on Earth in 2018?

2. According to some research, what provides most happiness in East Asian cultures?

3. According to a traditional Japanese concept of happiness, why is ageing a good thing?

4. True or false? Anxiety and stress can actually make us happy.

5. Which word used in the article is a synonym for 'celebrate'?

2.  请在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处。

1. I can't believe my brother's _________ - he's paid for us all to go on holiday to France.
pleasure    generosity    well-being    imperfection

2. You should __________ out of your sister's book. She does all her homework on time and then she can go out and enjoy herself!
leaf taker    taken a leaf    take a leaf    take a book

3. I've always tried to lead a ________ life by not drinking alcohol or smoking.
miserable    virtuous    adept    well-being

4. It's no surprise he's feeling __________ - he's lost his job and can't find another one.
dumped    down at the dump    dumped and down    down in the dumps

5. It's great to have her working in customer services because she's very _________ at dealing with complaints!
adept    anxious    altruistic    miserable

答案

1.  阅读课文并回答问题。

1. Which organisation found Finland to be the happiest country on Earth in 2018?
The United Nations' (UN) World Happiness Report found the country to be the happiest place on Earth.

2. According to some research, what provides most happiness in East Asian cultures?
Research found East Asian cultures tend to think of happiness as social harmony.

3. According to a traditional Japanese concept of happiness, why is ageing a good thing?
Wabi-sabi is a concept that celebrates ageing because having imperfections is a good and natural thing.

4.True or false? Anxiety and stress can actually make us happy.
False. Our pursuit of happiness could make us miserable as we try to meet society’s expectations and goals, making us anxious and stressed.

5. Which word used in the article is a synonym for 'celebrate'?
Rejoice. It means to celebrate something in a happy way. ("We should be happy with who we are and rejoice in our faults and individuality.")

2.  请在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处。

1. I can't believe my brother's generosity - he's paid for us all to go on holiday to France.

2. You should take a leaf out of your sister's book. She does all her homework on time and then she can go out and enjoy herself!

3. I've always tried to lead a virtuous life by not drinking alcohol or smoking.

4. It's no surprise he's feeling down in the dumps - he's lost his job and can't find another one.

5. It's great to have her working in customer services because she's very adept at dealing with complaints!


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