The Quest for Happiness

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The quest for happiness is older than America itself. Thomas Jefferson included it in the Declaration of Independence when he wrote about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

But what actually makes Americans happy?

Click play to watch the story from CBN News Reporter Charlene Israel.  Plus, watch Pat Robertson's interview with author Arthur Brooks. 

For some that means having more money. A recent Gallup poll found that 90 percent of people who make at least $250,000 a year say they are "very happy" compared to only 42 percent of those who make less than $30,000.

Others have a different definition.

"What makes me happy is the fact that we are basically allowed to do what we want to do," said Christopher Gannon, a resident of Las Vegas, Nevada. "We have the freedom to do what we want to do."

"Happiness isn't about money or material things," New Hampshire resident Chris Carter said. "It's about what's in your heart."

"Family is what makes us happy," said Jason Collier. "Family and kids and just living."

The Singleton's of Staten Island, New York each had a different answer. Nadine Singleton answered "doing something constructive."

But her husband Daniel said, "knowing that my family is secure and that my bills are paid that's what makes me happy the most."

What should our leaders be doing -- as well as not doing -- to help us pursue happiness?

Author Arthur Brooks tackles that question and more in his book, Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America and How We Can Get More of It

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Charlene Israel

Charlene Israel

CBN News

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