Susan Jacoby Quote

“Too many Americans have twisted the sensible right to pursue happiness into the delusion that we are entitled to a guarantee of happiness. If we don't get exactly what we want, we assume someone must be violating our rights. We're no longer willing to write off some of life's disappointments to simple bad luck.”

~ Susan Jacoby

Ratings and Comments

Logan, Memphis, TN

10 stars.

E Archer, NYC

As my father used to say to me, "What do you think this is, a free ride?"

Eric, Wichita

So that's why I did not get that last promotion, someone took it away before I got it! Seriously though, the pursuit of happiness was at one point interpreted as the pursuit of 'prosperity' or 'property' and happiness was judged to be the 'happiest' middle ground. The Founder's were not talking about a state of mind, the were talking about a state of physical affairs.

Ken, Allyn, WA

I once had a state representative tell me that I have a right to health care, a job, a home and happiness. I told her I'd be sending her my medical bills, I wanted her job, and I wanted her house. That would make me happy. For some reason she didn't reply and I'm not happy! She just violated my rights, didn't she?

warren, olathe

Even worse is the intentional misinterpretation of the constitution's reference to the "general welfare".

Walter Clark, Fullerton CA

This is a wonderful aphorism. Ten Stars indeed. I looked at Susan's Wikipedia entry. Not much of a career at all. It seems her purpose in life, her religion is atheism. She needs a hobby, er something. But this quote might be enough to be life-time achievement. It's that good. Well, I think so.

The tendency we have to shift the cause of any suffering to someone, some firm, or some class of people, might be one of the most fundamental concepts of human nature... up there with self-interest, sex drive and retaliation. It's a drive that is so strong, when it's in action we never think to question why we feel that way. For some people it may be the strongest of human drives; the purpose of their life. For them, it is what turns inequality into envy and envy into legislation.

jim k, Austin

Great quote.


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