Life's Finest

by Dr. James W. Jackson

Author, The Happiest Man in the World: Life Lessons from a Cultural Economist;

Recently, Winston-Crown Publishing Housepublished the book, “THE HAPPIEST MAN IN THE WORLD: Life Lessons from a Cultural Economist.” In using the term “happiest man,” I didn’t intend to write a treatise on the subject of “happiness.” I simply wanted to tell the unusual story of the phenomenon called “Project C.U.R.E.,” and share a bit of the privilege and excitement I experienced through being a part of the adventure. However, the term “happiness” has sparked some unexpected inquiries and has started at least a hundred conversations. Happiness is a pretty hot subject.

I have decided to pass on, in future articles, some of the comments and concepts that have been generated from our discussions regarding “happiness.” In a broad sense, I have concluded that “Life is full of alternatives, alternatives demand choices, choices set into motion consequences; how we reconcile and managethe consequences that have been set into motion by our choices will determine the level of our happiness.” Even if consequences are imposed upon us by others, yet, how we reconcile and manage those consequences that have been set into motion will determine our level of happiness.

Another concept regarding happiness has come through personal observation throughout my lifetime: “If a man tells me he is a ‘happy person,’ I try to discreetly find out from him the three people he has made happy, recently. If he is not engaged in making other people better off, then he is not yet truly happy, because he is still consumed with himself.”

Project C.U.R.E. ( is a large organization that is viewed as a service vehicle, capable of fulfilling a person’s desire to help make other people “better off.” That intrigues me. We have over 12,000 volunteers throughout the U.S. actively engaged in collecting, sorting, inventorying, packing, and delivering medical goods that will be sent to thousands of clinics and hospitals in 123 countries around the world. The volunteers have a burning desire to help those needy people, even though they will probably never meet them personally or ever receive a “thank you” for loving and helping them. But, through the act of making other people happy, they have personally set into motion consequences that bring happiness back to them, the volunteers. Additionally, Project C.U.R.E.’s efforts to afford the volunteers an opportunity to make others better off have returned to bless Project C.U.R.E. immeasurably.

And now, for a more personal note, someone asked me recently, “What are some of the finest things you are experiencing as the ‘happiest man in the world?'” My answer was simple:

“Unfailing love and faultless fidelity from my mate is my Finest Treasure, 
Good health is my Finest Possession, 
A clear conscience is my Finest Friend, and, 
Assurance of spending forever and forever with my friends in heaven is my Finest Joy.”

How would you answer the question regarding your Finest Treasure, Finest Possession, Finest Friend and Finest Joy? Let’s get a dialogue started on your questions, thoughts and concepts about “happiness.” Who knows? . . . Maybe Winston-Crown Publishing House would like to tackle a new project on the subject of “Happiness.” Let’s share some ideas.