Elgar original reference
Edited by Luigino Bruni and Pier Luigi Porta
Luigino Bruni and Pier Luigi Porta* 1. Economics and happiness: a new ﬁeld with a long history Many people focus on wealth when they pursue happiness, but research on social relationships suggests that they can be more important than material prosperity to subjective well-being. The word needs to be spread – it is important to work on social skills, close interpersonal ties, and social support in order to be happy. It is a mistake to value money over social relationships. (Diener and Seligman 2004) After Rome had caught ﬁre, it was probably 65 AD, Emperor Nero engineered to restore his reeling popularity by staging, in a surviving amphitheatre (before the Colosseum even existed), an immense gathering to watch a group of poor Christians be eaten up by ﬁerce lions. As the stage opened – so the story goes – very soon after the ﬁrst roaring hungry beast had dashed into the arena, one of those poor Christians, quite unexpectedly, sprang up toward the lion and somehow managed to mutter a few words in the lion’s ear. Instantly the lion lost his mood, collapsed to the ground and lay still without any possible reaction. Breathless, the crowd looked at Nero. The Emperor immediately ordered a second lion, a ﬁercer one, to enter the stage. To no avail, however, and the same scene went on being repeated three or four times. The event deﬁnitely looked like a miracle. The Emperor, of course, was furious as the atmosphere was getting stormy. Two brutal soldiers got...