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From the Editor: The Transition Is Here

Two women walking in park wearing face masks


S&H Editor-in-Chief Ben Nussbaum reflects on happiness and transition as the world enters into a new normal.

The transition is here, finally. As I write this the most vulnerable have gotten both their shots and the rollout is almost at the stage where anyone can schedule a poke in any state. I’m excited about socializing with the outside world again and hanging out with friends I haven’t seen in over a year. A long-anticipated family trip to New England might finally make it onto our schedule. I’ll have a quieter house to work in. Maybe I’ll join a gym and try to lose some COVID weight. But for the most part, after the joy-filled return to normal, life will go on the same as it does now and did before. Social scientists discovered long ago that happiness is mostly static. A major unexpected positive or negative event changes our happiness, but only for a little bit. Then we’re back at our base level. Win the lottery? Live it up for a week, but soon you’ll end up with about the same amount of joys, sorrows, grievances, and annoyances as you had before you struck it rich. They might be different joys and sorrows. But your emotional sine wave ends up in more or less the same place. That’s on …

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Ben Nussbaum is the Editor-in-Chief of Spirituality & Health.

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