The Environment of Happiness


I recently read (well listened to) a book called Sapiens; A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. Now I wouldn’t recommend this book to everyone because at times this non-fiction read can be very very dry. But in one section it talks about how humans have evolved, just like any other animal, to live in a certain environment. I’ve been thinking pretty heavily on what exactly the author meant by “environment”. Is it individual? Community? What specific environment am I designed for?  I’m asking myself what are the main ingredients that my life needs for happiness?

According to the author, the genius Homo Sapiens (us) evolved to live in small hunter-gatherer families. Back then our ancestors spent 4 hours a day hunting and gathering and the rest of their day back at camp building social ties. They lived in close family units. The family was the hospital, the police force, the education, and welfare system. Our mind and bodies evolved to this lifestyle.

Bermuda is known for it’s pink sand beaches. Last week I found myself exploring these beaches and the surrounding reefs. There I met creatures who belong to this unique aquatic wonderland. They camouflage in the coral, and fit perfectly into the nooks and crannies. I saw pink shells that eventually become more pink sand. When I got home my son Porter said, “It’s just like the shells in Hawaii but without the black dots.”

Thats right- How out of place would a black dot shell be in this world of Bermuda pink? Could it be happy?

We find happiness and sadness in every culture, from Manhattan to Malawi. The reefs we navigate are bigger and more diverse than ever before. We are no longer a fit. The world has changed faster than our bodies, so how do we terraform this new world back to something familiar to our evolution.

What do we need for happiness? Not the gingerbread house discovered by Hansel and Gretel. Short of taking my family into the wilderness for a life of hunting and gathering (don’t give Derek any ideas) what do we need to resinate happiness to our core? Here’s my list, I’d love to hear yours.


My Ideal Environment


en·vi·ron·ment – The surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates.





Family- close relationships

A home





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  • Olga Pekalska
    Posted at 03:04h, 13 September Reply

    Inspiring post. Thanks.

    My list of my ideal environment:
    (I’m reusing some of yours, as they are also important to me).

    Close relationships (family and friends)
    Beauty and exploration

  • Derek
    Posted at 14:24h, 19 September Reply

    I just need you

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