The myth of American Exceptionalism stems from the idea that the U.S. was the product of an immaculate conception -- a virgin, fertile continent bordered by two vast oceans and free of the foibles and follies of the old counties in Europe.
I'm solidly behind any effort to show that we're more than just our marginal contribution to our bank account, the bottom line of our employer or the gross national product of our country. But it's important to look at the whole picture.
We measure gross domestic product because we believe that the higher our GDP is, the better life will be in our country, and the happier we will be as citizens. The problem is GDP is not a good measurement of well-being.
Will America heed the happiness call, buttressed by increasing research into the causes of happiness, and set a new public and personal agenda in this country, namely greater attention to increasing our happiness and decreasing our misery?