I recently read an article by Dennis Prager, 'A Simple Truth about Happiness', and it raised a point which i had never realized with clarity before: the altruistic reason for taking happiness seriously. We all owe it to the people around us, our closed ones, family and friends to be happy, because our being happy or unhappy affects them too. You must have noticed this: if a close friend of yours is unhappy, a part of that unhappiness also spills into your life. And you have to realize that the sense happens to your closed ones when you are unhappy. Being unhappy is the easy way out. Anyone can do that; it doesn't require any effort. Most of us see happiness as a feeling that results from events that happen to us, over which we have little control. But this is not quite true. Happiness is not passive, but active. Happiness often requires an effort; you have to work for it. Its an attitude that needs to be cultivated, not awaited.