Ask just about anyone you meet and they will say that they want to be happy. It is such a driving force in the human condition, that some will try to attain it through acquiring material things, and some even by subjecting themselves to the counter-happiness behavior inherent in drug and alcohol abuse. The concept of happiness was so important to the Founders of this great nation that they gave prominence to its pursuit in the United States Constitution. But with all the talk of happiness, its constant companion, appreciation, is conspicuously missing from many persons' quest for this seemingly fleeting of all states of the human mind and heart.
I have discovered throughout my life that the happiest people are those that are appreciative of life, even if it offers them only meager blessings. There is very little doubt that one can be happy without appreciation, it is the spirit that inspires the choices and decisions that lead to the very inner sanctum of happiness. The engagement of good decisions based on the core values of righteousness taught through time, may not always lead to material wealth, but it will lead one to happiness.
The fact that Conservatives have been found to be happier than those on the Left in several studies, is no surprise. The Leftist ideology engenders unhappiness by its core belief and teaching that others who have more material wealth are to be despised and the target of government confiscation of that wealth. Leftism does not value appreciation but envy and jealousy, which will lead no one to a happier life.
Happiness is a function of having control over one's life and making decisions that lead to more independence, Leftism teaches just the opposite. In the Leftist world, dependence on government is a sacrament bestowed upon the practitioners of the faith almost from birth. The more dependence one has on anyone or anything, the less self-worth they feel and happiness will allude them. This is why the Leftist ideology is so destructive, it "rewards" bad behavior and wisdom-less choices with crumbs leftover from government-confiscated tax dollars, thereby stealing the individuals ambition, desire, and in the end, their self-worth.
Happiness dos not come from other people's money or even material things purchased with one's own money. Happiness is created from a sense of well being that can only exist as a result of a morally balanced life whose choices and decisions have lead the individual to real accomplishments and inner satisfaction. Development and feeding of the human spirit is essential to happiness and is anathema to the Leftist ideology because it fosters responsibility, self-reliance, and independence. Our Founders knew that a people pursuing their own happiness would make better citizens and create opportunities for others to secure their happiness. And a happy nation would be more prosperous and advance the cause of liberty and freedom not only at home, but throughout the world.