Catherine O’Brien: Educating for Sustainable Happiness (The Green Interview)
Catalogue Number: PT0106
Producer: Paper Tiger
Subject: Canadian World Studies, Consumer Studies, Documentary, Environmental Studies, Family Studies/Home Economics, Global Studies, Guidance, Social Issues, Social Sciences, Sociology, Women's Studies
Grade Level: 9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin: Canada
Copyright Year: 2019
Running Time: 61:00
It sometimes seems the natural world—our mother the Earth—is taking an increasingly savage beating so that people in the developed nations can become more and more wealthy but also less and less happy. We tend to treat money as a proxy for happiness and assume that more money automatically means more happiness but it doesn’t seem to work that way. That paradox has given rise to entirely new fields of inquiry like positive psychology and happiness studies and it’s at the intersection of happiness, sustainable living and education that we find Dr. Catherine O’Brien, a professor of education at Cape Breton University. She’s part of a worldwide network of scholars and researchers who are asking such questions as, “What is happiness?” “How do we obtain it?” “How do you measure it?” “Why are some entire countries measurably happier than others?” “Do we need new ways of understanding terms like wealth and poverty and can we personally structure our lives so that weactually become happy people?” Catherine O’Brien’s research has led her to propose that there is sucha thing as sustainable happiness and that the techniques for achieving it can be taught. Indeed, she’s written a book on it and developed the world’s first course in it. She contends that behaving in ways that will bring us deep endurable happiness is also good for our families, our communities and indeed for the planet itself.
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