Interesting to find happiness on the agenda suddenly. David Cameron [taking time off from knowing all the words of Benny Hill’s ‘Ernie’] has been exploring it as a broad political objective – and as I write this I have playing in my mind the dreadful Ken Dodd song and the much less dreadful Morcambe and Wise, ‘Bring me Sunshine’. I think I can fairly confidently produce examples of what makes people unhappy. But … is happiness a christian concept … did Jesus die happy … is there happiness in taking up the cross and following? I recently met a friend who is ill and who said, ‘I am thankful for all that I have received’. She meant, I think, children, grandchildren – and I felt that I was in the presence of a happy person. I think there is happiness/contentment in finding integration, wholeness and balance in life and thankfulness seems to be one of the signs of that. Surprisingly, happiness doesn’t seem to have anything much to do with wealth. And unhappiness? Easier, I think. My two nominations would be … firstly anything which involves self pity and secondly an obsessive commitment to the defence of one’s self-interest, real or imagined.