That’s a bit of pop psychology from the Me generation that has passed into conventional wisdom, but I think it’s wrong. It’s just one step from there to “Greed is good,” and you know how I feel about that one.
So I said, “That’s bullshit. When I married Andrea, I made her happiness my job.” Not that she didn’t bear some of the responsibility herself, of course; nor was I abandoning my happiness for hers. But I’ll be damned if our marriage doesn’t mean that she gets my help being happy when she needs it, and vice versa. My friend’s palpable gratitude at hearing someone explode the old chestnut told me I was onto something.
Not to get too crunchy-granola, but how would the world be different if the conventional wisdom said, instead, “Everyone is responsible for each other’s happiness”?