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I travelled across the United States in a beat up Subaru with a very close friend for three months. I wondered what question I could ask people, what was one thing that all people might be concerned with, the central purpose to their life, the thing that motivates all that they do. I thought of the American Constitution and the right to pursue happiness. I wanted to offer people a chance to reflect upon themselves and through our brief communication, expand their awareness and sense of opportunity. So I asked people what are five things that make them happy and what do they think happiness is.
I came across ranchers in the lush hills of Wisconsin, Amish folks in the Pennsylvania plains and foreign travellers in the red mountains of Arizona. I spoke with all kinds of people, from east to west:—housewives, teenagers, grandparents, children. I also spoke with doctors from Harvard and UCSF, philosophers, scientists, sociologists and Nobel laureates trying to understand the mechanics of something that at times seemed so intangible.
These are some of the answers I received. A longer version is available.
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