Health is considered to be on the most desired values by humans. Most of

them do believe that there will be neither happiness nor recreation without having

“health” as a significant part of their lives. Thus, some claim themselves to be

“healthy” through showing their self-justified state of having this essential asset for

a “happy” life. But are they really? Are there any relationships between these two

variables that both have such profound impacts towards our lives?


According to the Oxford Dictionary, health is “the state of being free from

illness or injury.” This proves that the concepts of the “self-justifiers” is without a

doubt, a fallacy as since human beings were created they were never free from

illnesses and diseases. All of the generations of humans suffered from illnesses and

widespread diseases throughout history. One of the deadliest and devastating was

the Black Death which is also commonly referred to as the Bubonic Plague or the

Pneumonic Plague. This disease swept through the continent of Europe during the

mid-14th century, and it killed about 30 to 60% of the population (equivalent to 75 to

200 million casualties). Even though this tragedy took place nearly 7 centuries ago,

mankind is still not free from such illnesses which can be seen from the fact that

still, people are suffering from over 2200 different kinds of diseases, says the World

Health Organisation.


Another definition, a much more suitable definition of health for the “self-
justifiers” is that health is “a person’s mental or physical condition.” Therefore, being

“healthy” indicates that one has a good mental or physical condition. Since the term

is highly subjective, the whole fundamental conception of having a “good mental or

physical condition” itself is creating confusions and refuting its own existence.

Without regarding this confusion this term is creating, why do people justify

themselves as healthy? It could be mainly because of the stereotypical thought

about the possible existence of direct relationship between happiness and health as

well as considering health as a requirement in order to live a “happy” life. Then,

what elements work together to build up this emotion, so much desired by the

whole of mankind throughout their whole lives?


Martin Seligman, a social scientist, recently developed a formula for

happiness. This formula which states that happiness is a sum of a set point, the

conditions of life, and finally a voluntary action suggests that this emotion is partly

genetic (a result of circumstances and the outcome of conscious consideration and

decision making). Furthermore, this formula and Seligman’s research proves that

the physical matters and the external conditions (i.e. wealth) only effect 7 to 10% of

the actual state of happiness in one’s life. On the other hand, genetics and

voluntary actions take up 40 to 50% each. Nevertheless, although this is not

mentioned in the formula, health is still one of the significant elements which make

up happiness.


Meanwhile, another social scientist called Lyubomirsky believes in and

argues for the opposite theory and from her book titled ‘The How of Happiness,’ she

claims that all the aspects of health will be strongly affected by happiness such as

the very basic well-being of physical and mental well-beings, immune functions,

energy levels or even life spans. The argument related to life spans is supported by

the study of the 180 runs in Milwaukee since it reveals that the joyful nuns have a

longer life span when their gloomy counterparts suffer too young. Lyubomirsky’s

research and arguments are contradictory in some way as health is one of the

fundamental of conditions of happiness, but she suggests that the proper state of

happiness brings better health.


Above these two very different arguments made by the two social scientists,

a vast majority of the specialists agree with Lyubomirsky’s point of view, but they

still argue that actions preserving “good” health such as regular exercise, cognitive

therapy, and meditations are effective strategies. This firmly proven connectivity

and reciprocity supports the self-justifiers’ concepts as well. However, it also shows

that self-justification is not indeed useless and meaningless since it is not an

effective strategy to obtain both of these values. Finally, the logic tells people to not

eliminate the possible and crucial errors since their self-justifications could be false

as well.




— Jerry Rim 1st Oct. 2015. Y8 Jeoji —